RT Cunningham

American Restaurant Franchises in the Philippines

There are American restaurant franchises you can expect to see in the Philippines because they’re in many countries. And then there are also franchises you expect to see in the Philippines, but they’re not here. At least, I haven’t seen them or heard about them being here.

Of course, none of them can compete with the Philippine restaurant franchises when it comes to numbers. Jollibee, Chowking and Greenwich pizza (all belonging to the Jollibee Foods Corporation) are everywhere.

American Restaurant Franchises I Know About

There’s a list of countries with McDonald’s restaurants and of course, the Philippines is on the list. The first McDonald’s opened in Manila on September 27, 1981.

Seeing even one McDonald’s restaurant in Olongapo City when I moved here in 2006 surprised me. None existed when I was here in the eighties. There are two in Olongapo now. At the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, there are two more that I know about, including the one in the Harbor Point Ayala mall.

At least one McDonald’s restaurant exists in every medium to large city of the Philippines. There’s even one or more along the Northern Luzon Expressway, along with other American restaurant franchises.

There’s a list of countries with KFC restaurants and again, the Philippines is on the list. The franchise started in the Philippines in June of 1994 and today, more than 237 KFC restaurants exist here.

There was one KFC in the Subic/Olongapo area when I moved here. Now there’s at least three. One at SM City Olongapo, one at the Harbor Point Ayala mall and one at the Pure Gold building at the freeport.

Again, there’s one or more along the Northern Luzon Expressway.

I don’t know much about the other restaurant franchises, unless you count Starbucks. There are two Starbucks at the freeport zone and more than one along the Northern Luzon Expressway.

There are others I’ve seen (or been to):

American Restaurant Franchises I Don’t Know About

I can google with the best of them. Although I’ve never seen one, three Taco Bell restaurants exist in metro Manila. Apparently, nowhere else in the country. There was a Jack In The Box somewhere but it no longer exists. There was a Domino’s Pizza in Olongapo, but it shut down before I moved here.

Metro Manila, being the largest metropolis in the Philippines, has more restaurants than I can remember seeing. People on the net mention Outback Steakhouse and Hooters, so I have to assume in Manila.

I’m not very picky when it comes to fast food. All of them, American franchises or otherwise, have something I enjoy eating. Fried chicken is the only fast food I eat a lot of and it’s not really fast food. KFC delivers, Jollibee delivers and S&R Pizza delivers (from the Pure Gold Building at the freeport) on the rare occasions when I want pizza.

I mostly eat at home but I make a point of eating out at least once a month. It’s usually a non-fast food, sit-down restaurant though because I’m usually not alone.


Shortly after republishing this, a Facebook friend mentioned that he’d been to an Outback Steakhouse in Alabang and a Hooters on the bay by the Mall of Asia. Alabang is a barangay (administrative subdivision) of Muntinlupa, which itself is at the southernmost edge of metro Manila. The Mall of Asia is in Pasay, another city within metro Manila.

Originally published in August of 2016. Updated for readability and minor corrections.

September 14, 2017
Food and Drink

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