THE operator of fastfood chain Popeyes in the Philippines is targeting to open over a hundred stores in the next three years.

Winglip K. Chang, president of Kuya J Holdings Group, Inc., said the first Popeyes store, located in Arcovia City in Pasig City, has been performing well since it opened last month.

“We want to open more than a hundred stores in three years. The first year, we won’t be building that many but hopefully the next year and the year after that we will open more 40, 50 as we become more comfortable in the opening, construction,” he told reporters after an event announcing Popeyes’ official partnership with Coca-Cola Philippines.

Mr. Chang said he estimates a budget of P1.5 billion will be needed for Popeyes’ expansion. He noted each branch requires an investment of around P15 to P20 million each.

“We just want to open as many stores as we can. We feel the market is still there to allow us to compete effectively. Price is competitive, we are similar to other brands,” he said.

Popeyes Arcovia City has been running over a thousand transactions a day, Mr. Chang said.

“For the first Popeyes store in the Philippines, we have surpassed all the sales for opening day and opening month,” he said.

Aside from the famous fried chicken, Popeyes offers Philippine exclusives such as spaghetti and new flavors of its biscuits — hazelnut and white chocolate.

“We introduced hazelnut and white chocolate (flavors) aside from honey biscuit. We felt the biscuits can be eaten as a dessert,” Mr. Chang said.

All Popeyes stores will serve Coca-Cola beverages, as the company tapped Coca-Cola as its official beverage partner in the Philippines.

“As the bottler of Coca-Cola Philippines, it has always been our goal to deliver our beverages and bring refreshing moments to each and every Filipino. This is why we are very excited to partner with Popeyes, a brand that, apart from serving delicious food, creates an experience of happiness and comfort,” Cherry Flores-Du, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. national key accounts associate director, said.

Popeyes and Coca-Cola go a long way back. At the opening of the first Popeyes store in New Orleans in 1972, the Louisiana-style chicken was served with a glass of Coke. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia