On the hot afternoon of the Chinese New Year last January 25, the lucky 13th Chowking store of Davao City which is the third drive-thru store and the 70th Chowking branch established in Mindanao was inaugurated.
No less than the Reverend Monsignor Paul Cuison took a short break from his busy schedule to bless the modern Chowking Quimpo Shell Drive-Thru. Naturally, Chowking franchise owners Joey and Joy Mempin, business partner Rey Sian, Chowking Regional Business Unit Head for Mindanao Dong Esma and Chowking Operations Director for Davao Dave Ramos were all smiles as they cut the ceremonial red ribbon. Instead of the traditional Chinese Lion/Dragon Dance that the guests were expecting to see, the popular Kalumon Performing Ensemble headed by the talented Mario Leofer Lim proudly showcased some of Davao’s tribes’ festive song and dance numbers to entertain the guests. What a delight, indeed.
Chowking is perhaps the country’s most popular and most patronized Chinese-style fast food chain established in the country. The Chowking menu basically consists of noodle soups, dim sum, rice bowls with toppings, and includes such popular dishes as chao fan, sweet and sour chicken, lauriat, and many more. Yes, not to forget that Chowking serves one of the best halo-halo in town.
The company of Chowking founder Robert Fung Kuan set up the first Chowking store at the strategic Makati Commercial Center in 1985. It was at a time when American-style burger chains led by McDonald’s were dominating the country’s fast food industry.
It was Robert Fung Kuan’s idea of making a local counterpart of the giant global fast food chain, McDonald’s. Jollibee Foods Corporation acquired Chowking and by 1989, Chowking began expanding and made its entry into provincial markets. It was on January 1, 2000, when Chowking became wholly owned by the Jollibee Foods Corporation which gave it a corporate look. By 2008, Chowking had 400 stores within the Philippines, Indonesia, the United States and the Middle East.
“A typical Chowking store size must at least have an area from 250 to 300 square meters. Of course, the location is key in the application for a Chowking franchise. The contract for a Chowking franchise is good for 10 years which is renewable for another term,” revealed businessman Joey Mempin as he added, “This Quimpo branch of Chowking is a beautiful store concept called 7.1 Generation.
It has a modern Chinese interior featuring industrial-style concrete walls with whimsical murals and signs drawn on it; attractive vintage Machuca tiles on the floor, the balance of bold colors with earth tones, huge windows and interesting furniture that combine altogether to create a modern yet homey ambiance. This design has been recognized by the Real Living Magazine as ‘an unexpectedly stylish fast food chain to visit.’ Chowking is the dominant and tops in the Chinese culinary brand; and is among the top three QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) in the country. We are on our way to becoming top two.”
“We are now ready to dominate the culinary scene in the Quimpo Boulevard area. We are proud to be a part of the Chowking family while providing work for people in our community. This opening is part of our legacy being among the 600 strong Chowking stores both here and abroad,” commented Joy Mempin who was on her feet helping the Chowking crew serve the guests. Oh yes, the Mempin siblings were all accounted for to show their support to the family’s new business. Why even the talented son, Miguel Mempin, sang a few songs like it was his concert that day. Daughter Belay was busy attending to her daughter restraining her from doing some impressive dance movements.
Congratulations, Chowking Quimpo Shell Drive-Thru.