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Leslie Corporation expands its BBQ Bob franchise amid pandemic

BBQ Bob, a brand under the snack food company Leslie Corporation, is set to expand with more store openings after the announcement of its franchising offer in the third quarter of 2020. BBQ Bob is a small-format store that serves freshly cooked ready-to-eat BBQ and meals at affordable prices. Priority will be given to franchisees who wish to open stores in Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna.

“We launched this franchising option to open opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for a business model that is proven to work even during a crisis. For the brand, this is the biggest change we will be doing,” said Ferdinand Obuyes, senior sales area manager of Leslie Corporation. 

The company surpassed last year’s sales as of September 2020. Network revenues have also grown by 57% as compared to 2019, with a 20% increase in sales across all stores from June to September. 

BBQ Bob’s franchise system is buttressed by the over 35-year franchising experience of its sister brand, Minute Burger, which has more than 700 stores in the Philippines. Like Minute Burger, BBQ Bob’s return on investment is estimated to be 18 to 24 months. 

There are six BBQ Bob stores as of the fourth quarter of this year.

Navigating the various lockdown restrictions was the greatest challenge BBQ Bob had to overcome this year. The brand was able to overcome these by leveraging Minute Burger’s experience, committing to the safety of both crew and customers, and focusing on food quality. 

“We have found a way to consistently serve ulam (viands) and barbecues that are always soft and juicy, with a very short preparation time at the store so our customers are sure it’s freshly prepared shortly before they order,” said Mr. Obuyes

BBQ Bob accepts contactless payments by being an active merchant on FoodPanda, GrabFood, and LalaFood, as well as MenuGo for customers in Cavite. 

FRANCHISE DETAILS

A BBQ Bob franchise needs an initial investment of around P115,000. It includes franchise fees for two stores, initial payments for site processing, and application and documentation processing. The term is for four years and is renewable on a per-store basis. Franchisees can expect to shell out a royalty fee and advertising and marketing fees; BBQ Bob does not take a percentage of sales.

Stores are entirely on a take-out format sans dine-in space. The approximate cost of store construction, based on standard design, is pegged at P14,000 per square meter. Support for growth, operations, and expansion is provided to franchisees through a sales team. The company said the model works when a franchisee is able to oversee more stores. 

Based on their experience with Minute Burger, Mr. Obuyes said that franchisees should aim for three stores.

“We monitor the news and development about the pandemic almost daily,” said Mr. Obuyes. “We feel that ‘post-pandemic’ is still quite a way to go, although we hope it will truly end very soon. While we hope for the best, we are also planning for every worst-case scenario to make sure we are ready for whatever lies ahead of us in 2021 and beyond.” — Patricia B. Mirasol

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