Fast food franchise Minute Burger seems to have gotten ahead of the crisis by anchoring its operations on the business of takeouts. Its stalls and kiosks do not allow for dine-in services and its buy-one, take-one strategy has made it a popular choice among the masses. The pandemic may have disrupted the brand’s usual dynamics, but after weeks of laying low, it’s now back to regular operations with further developments—even a reinvented brand on the way.

Aside from stricter safety protocols and health and sanitation standards, the burger joint dispatched its 24/7 operations and shortened its hours to adapt to the current situation. The brand also added a delivery option together with established couriers to bring its products to clients. 

Snack food company Leslie Corp., the group behind Minute Burger, is planning to mimic the chain’s success by rethinking the business concept for its newest project BBQ Bob. The Davao City-based dine-in venture had just launched two branches in Cavite when the pandemic started. Now, BBQ Bob is adopting the strategy of its sister brand by shifting to a takeout facility.

According to Leslie Corp.’s Ferdinand Obuyes, confidence in the system, the business model and the brand is necessary before the company begins franchising. The focus would be on the value offered so as to maintain its reasonable price point and maintain the franchisees’ and customers’ trust. 

It’s a model that has worked well for Minute Burger, which managed to grow its network revenue by 57 percent in the face of the 2020 health crisis, exceeding initial expectations.

“Our model works best when a franchisee is able to oversee more stores. The ideal number that we’ve learned from our experience growing Minute Burger is three stores, although we’re confident that the system is simple and easy to scale to five or more stores for a good entrepreneur,” says Obuyes.

A limited time promotion requires an initial investment of about P115,000. This is inclusive of franchise fees for two stores, initial payments for site processing and the processing of application and documentation. A franchisee then works with a dedicated sales team to learn about the business—its operations, growth potential and possibility of opening new stores.

The company is expecting to open more stores in Metro Manila as well as Cavite and Laguna this year. With 69 new stores opened despite the pandemic, Minute Burger now has more than 600 local outlets. By fashioning its strategy after that of Minute Burger’s existing franchise program, BBQ Bob expects its estimated return on investments period to be between 18 to 24 months. 

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