Jollibee vs McDonald's: A Tale of Two Fast-Food Giants

Jollibee is a fast-growing fast-food chain that operates more than 1,300 stores worldwide, 1, 150 of which are in the Philippines and 234 in overseas markets. Today, it operates 41 stores across North America. For comparison, there are only 640 McDonald's branches operating in the Philippines. MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Jollibee and McDonald's have always clashed in the fast-food arena. However, in the midst of unprecedented times, these giants held hands on a unified private sector front to revive the country's economy, which had been hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign is part of the private sector support to the T3 (Test, Trace, Treat) Working Group, the multi-sectoral initiative founded in April that aims to work together with the Department of Health (DOH), the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 and the Inter-Agency Management Working Group of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to manage the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Torres and his team approached Jollibee and 30 other brands for the campaign that sought to inspire hope, safety and confidence from consumers, who responded positively and did everything possible to support the initiative, such as field marketing and the promotion of “Ingat, Angat” in their stores. For Flores de Jollibee, the decision to give his full support to the campaign was a no-brainer and he thanked Torres's invitation to work together, saying that the initiative went beyond the competition of his brands, adding that “Pagdating sa campaign na 'to, wala munang magkalaban for sa bayan.”Both Torres and Flores described the experience of collaborating with each other as easy and fluid navigation. Flores attributed this to sharing a common purpose to defend safety and progress. Meanwhile, the managing director of McDonald's attributed it to real and mutual respect for their teams and organizations.

Flores also made accommodations, taking care to be sensitive to the needs of his collaborator. He relayed: “Knowing that this campaign is being led by Margot and TBWA, we really wanted to make sure that we respected that. And we didn't want to make it difficult for him, because I can imagine how difficult it is not only to coordinate with his direct competitor, but to coordinate across 30 brands and put them all in one film. The culmination of this genuine collaboration was felt in the fundamental scene of two crew members from McDonald's and Jollibee sitting side by side in the jeepney, an image proposed by Torres and his team. Although the scene was already included in the storyboard, Torres took the initiative to personally consult with Flores for comments. The rare glimpse of unity didn't end there.

Social media users went into a frenzy after the social media pages of Jollibee and McDonald's appeared and tagged each other on their social cards, an idea that this time was brought by the Jollibee team. We plotted the locations of Jollibee vs McDonald's in Metro Manila to know exactly how their respective stores are facing. The maps below show quite interesting patterns. The following figure illustrates the merger of the Jollibee and McDonald's branches. The percentage values shown indicate their relationships to the total number of branches of each brand in Metro Manila (for example,. The map also suggests that both brands use similar strategies to “deploy their units”, in this case, their branches to stay one ahead of the other.

Have you ever noticed that for every Jollibee branch you see, there's probably a McDonald's store just a few feet away? That's not by chance. The map below identifies how close a branch is to its competitor. Grey circles mean that a Jollibee store in that specific area is within a hundred meters of a McDonald's branch. That's good news for customers looking for options but aren't interested in exploring further afield just to satiate their burger cravings. While most stores are still within critical points, there are some outliers that are isolated but still committed to competition. The next two maps show areas where distances between competing stores are relatively large, and some stores have no competition within a two-kilometer radius.

When viewed in groups, a brand seems to dominate certain points. The areas controlled by Jollibee are represented by opaque white circles, with stores in the center. Their radii are drawn to scale to indicate their distances to the nearest McDonald's store. Now, what areas has McDonald's monopolized? Take a look at the transparent yellow circles on the map below. The neighboring areas of SM North and TriNoma in Quezon City are the clown's playground, as are NAIA in Pasay City, the Santolan-Manggahan area in Pasig City and the vicinity of C5 in Taguig City. All information presented here is based on the limited data available and is intended only for a general description of the topic.

To conduct in-depth analysis, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive study. Pushpins is a GIS company based in the Philippines. For more information, log in here. On a cold day in New York City, a few steps from Times Square, a line of people formed; they are neatly grouped by a rope in front of an unpretentious building nestled among the city's many skyscrapers. A man stands guard by the door, asking people how many people are in his group and marking the beginning of only a few at a time. A big part of Jollibee's secret sauce is its menu, which is eclectic by American fast-food standards. Offerings vary by location but there are fan favorites like Chickenjoy (some say it's even better than Kentucky Fried Chicken), Fiesta Noodles (a recreation of pancit palabok), Breakfast Joy Corned Beef (served with garlic rice and fried egg) or Halo-Halo (a mix of crushed ice cube y jaca).The rivalry between Jollibee and McDonald's has been going on for years now but during these unprecedented times they have come together for one common goal: reviving their country’s economy hit hard by COVID-19 crisis through Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign initiated by T3 Working Group with support from both brands as well as other 30 brands. We have plotted maps showing how close each branch is from its competitor as well as areas where distances between competing stores are relatively large or where one brand dominates certain points over another. All information presented here is based on limited data available but it gives us an insight into how these two fast food giants compete against each other while still working together towards one common goal. Pushpins is a GIS company based in Philippines providing more information about this topic.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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