These conglomerates are responsible for some of your favourite restaurants
Get a closer look at the eclectic and impressive portfolios from The Bistro Group, Jollibee Foods Corporation, The Moment Group, Notorious Concepts, Tasteless Food Group, Max’s Group, Foodee Global Concepts, and Standard Hospitality Group, below:
1. The Bistro Group
Boasting one of the most diverse portfolios on the list, The Bistro Group holds 18 dining concepts (and counting), classified under three distinct identities:
- The Bistro Group: Hard Rock Cafe, TGI Fridays, El Pollo Loco, Watami, Italianni’s, Bulgogi Brothers, Fish & Co, Modern Shanghai, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Texas Roadhouse
- Bistronomia: Rambla, BCN by Las Flores, Las Flores, and Tomatito
- The Bistro Group Elite Restaurants: Ember, Helm, Savage, and The Test Kitchen
Whereas the first specialises in international and homegrown casual outlets, the second is known for its affinity for boutique Spanish cuisine and the third carries corporate chef Josh Boutwood’s upscale restaurants. Founded by chairman and CEO William “Bill” Stelton in 1994, the conglomerate is steadily approaching its third decade of operations.
Tatler Trivia: Josh Boutwood is the corporate executive chef of The Bistro Group and chef-owner of Bistro Elite
2. Jollibee Foods Corporation
Don’t let its name fool you—business tycoon Tony Tan Caktiong’s Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) is much more than just the Chickenjoy it’s known for. In addition to owning famed local brands Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, and Mang Inasal, the formidable restaurant group has also acquired Hong Kong-based, Michelin-starred, international restaurant chain Tim Ho Wan, American burger chain Smashburger, Chinese fast-food brand Yonghe King, and global café concept Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. JFC also owns the local franchising rights to Burger King, Panda Express, and Yoshinoya.
3. The Moment Group
Founded by Abba Napa (creative development), Jon Syjuco (business development), and Eliza Antonio (managing partner), The Moment Group is a familiar favourite among Filipino foodies. Their eclectic portfolio of F&B concepts includes an impressive range of homegrown brands, spanning a colourful variety of cuisines: homegrown brands 8Cuts, Manam, Ooma, Mo’ Cookies, The Mess Hall, Shawa Wama, Huchi, Bank Bar, Mecha Uma, Papa Pancitan, Cuckoo, and Moment Catering; as well as internationally-renowned Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung.
Over the pandemic, The Moment Group was among the first to launch new, technologically-driven products and initiatives, including Moment The Grocer and their in-house delivery service, Mo’Go.
4. Tasteless Food Group
As its title suggests, Tasteless Food Group is home to unconventional, playful F&B outlets with a contemporary approach to dining. Take The Grid Food Market, for example: the swanky, elevated food hall at Power Plant Mall, housing 21 different brands from Bruce Ricketts’ La Chinesca to David Ong’s Edsa BDG. Additionally, the group owns local concepts like Le Petit Souffle, Scout’s Honor, Poison Doughnuts, Champion Hotpot, Tsuke-men, Taipei All-Stars, and Your Local, while operating franchised brands Pizza Express and Hanamaruken Ramen.
Tatler Trivia: Apart from Tasteless, founder Charles Paw also helms Lowbrow in partnership with Dwight Co. The charismatic, design-led restaurant group exudes a similar whimsy and commitment to “high-quality casual grub,” exemplified by their four brands, which each feature at The Grid: Bad Bird, Fowlbread, Flowerboy, and Beefier.
5. Max’s Group
Max’s Group is home to more than just the Filipino comfort food restaurants that share its name. Beyond Max’s Restaurant and Max’s Bakery Corner, the group also owns Pancake House, Teriyaki Boy, Yellow Cab, Dencio’s, Le Coeur de France, Sizzlin’ Steak, Maple, and Kabisera, plus the licenses to franchise Jamba Juice and Krispy Kreme here in the Philippines. Max’s Restaurant (and what would later be the Max’s Group) has its humble beginnings in founder Maximo Gimenez’s own home, where the teacher would regularly host American soldiers who would soon urge him to open his own café.
6. Foodee Global Concepts
When Rikki Dee opened Chin Chin restaurant along Pasay Road, he was unaware that he’d be laying the groundwork for his family-run restaurant empire, Foodee Global Concepts. Fast forward some decades later, and their rich collection of dining outlets includes both successful homegrown concepts and famed international brands: Mesa, Sunnies Cafe, Bench Cafe, Hawker Chan, Kam’s Roast, Llao Llao, as well as Todd English brands Pound and Flatterie, to name a few. Furthermore, though JFC has acquired full ownership of Tim Ho Wan, Foodee Global operates the Michelin-star brand locally.
7. Standard Hospitality Group
Another family-run restaurant conglomerate, John Concepcion’s Standard Hospitality Group (SHG) is the force behind the popular local katsu chain Yabu, and is also responsible for bringing ramen chain Ippudo and Hong Kong speciality coffee shop Elephant Grounds to the Philippines. Most recently, SHG opened the doors to Kiwami Food Hall, a well-appointed space that houses Yabu, Ippudo, and two new family-owned Japanese franchises: Yakitori Hachibei, which specialises in pork belly skewers, and Hannosuke, which specialises in tempura.
8. Notorious Concepts
The newest of the bunch, Notorious Concepts has made a buzz-worthy entrance to the Poblacion scene with the Korean-American restaurant West 32, the lively Notorious HQ bar, and Peruvian-Japanese concept Japonesa—all of which have caught the attention of influencers, celebrities, and night owls alike. Founded by Jeff Oh and James Thomas, Notorious has hit the ground running and shows no signs of slowing down. Keep an eye out for fresh new concepts from them soon.