Potato Corner is one of the most recognizable names in flavored fries products in the Philippines, with outlets or food stalls in most of the major malls across the country.
But did you know that Jose Magsaysay, Jr., one of the co-founders and the man who helped the company rise from a financial crisis, started out as a working student at Wendy’s?
Potato Corner’s Tycoon: From Rags to Riches Story
Magsaysay started out as a working student and part-time janitor at Wendy’s in 1983.
But the dedicated worker would rise up the ranks to become a management trainee, then on to the Board of Directors within just a decade.
Magsaysay names former Finance Secretary Jose T. Pardo, Wendy’s Philippines president, as the mentor who inspired him to push through the flavored fries food concept despite still working with Wendy’s.
Instead of stopping him from trying something different, Pardo gave him wings to fly.
Who knew that would take him to the position as the tycoon behind Potato Corner’s success?
Potato Corner: From One Food Stall to 1,200 Outlets
Magsaysay was invited by his brother-in-law, Ricky Montelibano, to join two other partners, Danny Bermejo and Jorge Wieneke, to join a start-up selling flavored French fries. At the time, Montelibano was already in the business of selling flavored popcorn.
Because they were unsure of where to find capital for the business, Magsaysay suggested that each of them set up an equal amount to reach Php150,000.
The group opened the first Potato Corner stall at SM Megamall in 1992.
It was such a huge hit that they soon thought about expanding the business. Because they were once again met with the challenge of coming up with the capital, Magsaysay reportedly suggested opening Potato Corner for franchising.
This proved to be a good idea. Today, the company has 1,200 outlets across the country and has even expanded to 11 countries.
During the Asian financial crisis, the company took a huge hit, with franchises closing down and reaching from 120 to 40.
Magsaysay took the helm, and managed to revive the company to its current presence.
From the Php150,000 food, the company is now worth at least a billion pesos.
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