PUERTO PRINCESA -- In just two years after its launch, Filipino casual dining chain Kuya J has grown to 100 branches, with the opening of its latest restaurant in Puerto Princesa, Palawan over the weekend.
The momentous event was attended by executives of the iKitchen Inc., the company behind Kuya J restaurant, and its endorser, actor Jericho Rosales.
"It's really amazing, you know, from a humble hole-in-the-wall (in Cebu) to 100 stores. It's amazing how far and how fast we grew in just two years," Winglip Chang, president and chief executive officer of iKitchen said at Palawan branch's opening last October 7.
"I believe the reason why our family has grown so fruitfully in such a short period of time is because of the continues love and support of the people for Kuya J."
Kuya J, which offers popular Filipino dishes like crispy pata, grilled scallops, bulalo, sisig and roast chicken, has had its share of ups and downs but has faced all these challenges through the continued support of its customers, he said.
"Our customers are our life force. They are the ones who make us 'bida' because they are the 'bida," stressed Chang.
As part of its 100th store celebration, Kuya J has a special treat for its customers. Up to October 31, the Kuya J Original and Ube Halo-Halo Espesyal will be available at only P55 for dine-in transactions at all Kuya J branches.
But who really is Kuya J?
"We thought about it when we started and we believe that Kuya J is the appropriate name because most Filipino families have a 'J' in their family -- Jose, James, Jesus, Jericho. So we see that Kuya J is very suitable for our restaurant that's why we chose it," explained Chang, who also praised Rosales for being the ideal ambassador
of Kuya J.
For his part, Rosales said it's a big honor for him to be the face of Kuya J.
"Super family time ang oras niyo sa Kuya J. I'm glad na kapag nakikita niyo ako ay tinatawag niyo akong Kuya J, para na akong super hero," Rosales said.
After its 100th store, Kuya J is aiming to open more branches in the coming years.
"We've always wanted to reach the 200 stores. We did 100 stores in two years. Given the experience we had the last two years, I think it's easier for us to put up the next 100," Danny Pumarega, chief operating officer of Kuya J, said.
"One of the strategies that we will be adopting starting 2018 is also looking into growth outside Metro Manila and one of the biggest opportunity is to really look at the development of new cities like here in Palawan," he said.