Another delicious proof of the continued ties of the Philippines and Japan was inaugurated along Valero St. in Makati City, with the ninth branch of fast food chain Yoshinoya opening its doors over the Valentine’s weekend.
Present at the simple gathering were the top executives of Yoshinoya Century Pacific Inc. (YCPI), franchise holders of the brand in the country, namely, its president and general manager Timothy James Yang, board member Richard Yang, and business unit head Leonardo Arthur Po, who is also treasurer and director of giant canned goods manufacturer Century Pacific Food Inc., YCPI’s mother company.
Leading a group of well-wishers from the Japanese Embassy, meanwhile, was First Secretary Shinya Yabe, who heads the Japan Information and Culture Center.
“Yoshinoya Philippines has always worked closely with the Japanese Embassy in Manila, supporting their various endeavors,” said the chain’s area manager, Edna Marie Saldana in a brief interview with The Manila Times. “We also take pride in helping to promote their culture here, especially when it comes to serving authentic Japanese recipes like the beef bowl, which is more than a hundred years old.”
Saldana continued, “In return, the embassy is always present in all of the activities we mount for Yoshinoya Philippines, and both sides are very happy with the friendship we’ve established through the years.”
Since securing the Japanese franchise in 2001, Yoshinoya has steadily expanded its network with branches in Mega Mall, SM North Edsa, SM Manila, SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta, Ayala Fairview Terraces, and Robinsons Galleria. Just before 2015 came to a close, the company opened its first store outside Manila in SM Seaside Cebu, and is scheduled to open two more in the Queen City of the South by the summer.
According to Saldana, the Valero branch though the newest and youngest among the existing branches, immediately shot to the top of revenue generation for YPCI during its soft opening, because of very specific innovations designed for the CBD market.
“At Yoshinoya Valero, we designed quick and affordable promo meals for the office workers of Makati who only have an hour to grab lunch. And on top of that, we opened our very first take out counter in this here to cater to those who are on the go. Happily everyone seems to love ‘Japan’s famous beef bowl,’ which is Yoshinoya’s tagline, as well as all time favorite Japanese dishes like tempura, ramen and our popular bento boxes.”
Yoshinoya Valero, which was designed by DQA Design + Planning and built by JGI Construction, is open from Monday through Saturday.
“What’s nice for our staff here unlike in malls is that they get a break once a week when all offices are closed. And on Saturdays, the store is only open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., unlike the hours from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. So really, everyone’s happy all around,” Saldana enthused.