Japan’s Mos Burger to open 5 outlets in Philippines this year

15, Jan. 2020

Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash
Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

By Darlene Basingan

ORTIGAS CITY, Philippines, NNA – Japanese burger chain operator Mos Food Services Inc. will open five outlets in the Philippines this year as it gears up to expand overseas.

Mos Burger Philippines Inc. was formed through a joint venture last year between Mos Food Services and Tokyo Coffee Holdings Co.

Tokyo Coffee owns 65 percent of the joint venture and Mos Food Services 35 percent.

The joint venture aims to cash in on the growing consumption-driven economy in the Philippines, as well as Filipinos’ increasing appetite for Japanese style burger, Hiroshi Tateishi, its vice president, told NNA on the sidelines of its media launch on Wednesday.

The first store will open next month at Robinson’s Galleria, a mall in Ortigas City, home to one of the biggest business districts in the Southeast Asian country.

Two other outlets are expected to open within the year at two other Robinson’s malls -- Robinsons Magnolia and Robinsons Place Manila. The remaining two will also be opened in Sm megamall and O square greenhills in San Juan City. All will be located in Metro Manila, the country’s most populous region.

Aside from offering its usual burger menu, it is also developing a burger with a Filipino twist, similar to a local meal called “Silog,” a Filipino breakfast rice meal with egg and either pork, fish, or chicken, among other items.

Silog (Photo by Patricia Marisse Mesina Sy)
Silog (Photo by Patricia Marisse Mesina Sy)

The vice president said the Philippine unit targets opening 50 stores in the country by 2027.

Mos Food’s entry into the country is its first foray into a foreign market for seven years, following South Korea in 2012, it said.

It might have to compete with other burger chains like McDonalds, Burger King and KFC in a market dominated by home-grown fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp.

But the company stresses it is very different from other brands, which mostly offers Western-style burgers.

“The Filipino crowds mostly love Western burgers. They were all used to this. (But) I think Mos Burger will make a difference,” Tokyo Coffee Holdings President Hubert Young said during a press briefing.

Mos Food Services is also opening its first outlet in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in June this year, hoping to open a total of 10 outlets by March 2024.

The Japanese burger chain is also studying the possibility of entering markets outside of Asia like North America and Europe, said Takuma Naito, general manager of the International Support Division of the Tokyo-based firm, but he declined to provide further details.

Takuma said the company is also considering the possibility of opening two or three manufacturing plants in Southeast Asia, with Singapore as its center. The markets where the plants might be built will depend on which countries would post bigger sales, he added.

Mos Burger operates 1,293 stores in Japan and 391 outlets in eight overseas markets as of December 2019, according to its website.

(From L to R) Masahide Araki, president of Mos Burger Philippines Inc., Hiroshi Tateishi, vice president of Mos Burger Philippines Inc., Takuma Naito, general manager of the International Support Division of Mos Food Services Inc., and Hiroyuki Hondo, senior leader of the International Support Division of Mos Food Service, pose during the media launch of the Japanese burger chain in Ortigas City on Jan. 15, 2020.
(From L to R) Masahide Araki, president of Mos Burger Philippines Inc., Hiroshi Tateishi, vice president of Mos Burger Philippines Inc., Takuma Naito, general manager of the International Support Division of Mos Food Services Inc., and Hiroyuki Hondo, senior leader of the International Support Division of Mos Food Service, pose during the media launch of the Japanese burger chain in Ortigas City on Jan. 15, 2020.