With an annual sales of P1 billion, Potato Corner is certainly one of the most successful Pinoy franchise business that has gone global. The 25-year-old food cart pioneer, which has over 550 kiosks around the world, has set itself apart from a sea of competitors because of its made-to-order French fries.
Now that it has been in the market for more than two decades, the brand plans to expand to up to 1,000 branches nationwide and overseas including in countries like USA, Australia, Panama, Indonesia and Thailand.
Potato Corner owner and CEO Jose “Joe” Magsaysay Jr. shared some of the secrets behind the success of our favorite Pinoy French fries brand.
1. Market your brand to kids.
According to Magsaysay, his current millennial customers were the same kids who purchased his products when the business was just starting.
“If you want a brand to stick, market it to kids. When you market to teenagers and adults, they will shift to the next big thing. But kids? Once you get them, they’re yours for life.”
2. Do one thing at a time.
Magsaysay attributes the growth and success of Potato Corner to his sense of focus. Although he had lots of opportunities to explore, he decided to do “one thing at a time”.
“I really believe in ‘one thing at a time.’ Potato Corner grew the way it did because we focused. We had a lot of opportunities to explore because of the success of the business, but we realized it was successful precisely because we were so focused.”
3. Use other people’s money to grow your business.
Potato Corner’s tremendous growth is also largely credited to its franchising business model. By technically using other people’s money to launch franchise stores, the brand became successful.
“Because of franchising we are here today. It’s just like going public where you use other people’s money to grow your business. In fact, I call our company a ‘public company’ because 75% of our stores are franchised.”
4. Learn to let go.
Despite Magsaysay’s vast experience in leading food chains, he decided to let go of his position in Wendy’s and focus on his business start-up. It was Titoy Pardo, owner of Wendy’s whom he considers his most influential mentor, who encouraged him to pursue his business.
“He just made it so sweet, for example just gave me a choice, but I knew he just made it easier for me to leave. So [when he made me choose] I said ‘Potato Corner’ because if I said Wendy’s, he would have fired me then. Then he just gave me his blessing, said ‘be careful,’ gave me some tips, and shook my hand.”