Just like every Filipino – I am also a fan of Jollibee, ever since I was little.
Jollibee has this indescribable charisma that captures the hearts of Filipino kids, a devotion that has stayed with them no matter how many new food experiences they’d tried.
At my age, I can say that I still love Jollibee.
This is where I eat for some occasional breakfast or lunch. The food just brings so much joy to me, as this also brings back my childhood memories.
I am a huge fan of Jolly Spaghetti, Jolly Hotdog and of course, the Chicken Joy. Lately, I found myself eating Jollibee more often because of my niece and nephew. The charisma lives on in every generation.
On the business side, Jollibee is undeniably the biggest food empire in the Philippines, toppling the global brands such as McDonalds.
So it pains me…
It pains me whenever I experience this constant unsatisfactory encounter with them and this might be funny, but it has something to do with ketchup.
I am already used to the idea that people at the counter usually gives you the most minimal amount of something – like tissue, ketchup etc.
No matter how much food you order, they woud still give you a decent number of it. Yes it is funny, and being a patient person, I’ve come to understand and accept that.
So since I do not want to waste my time going back to the counter and ask for more ketchup because I knew from the very beginning it wasn’t enough. Two small pieces of ketchup is not enough for the three large fries I ordered, not even counting its paired value meals and my niece’s favorite chicken joy!
And so I politely asked for more…
Then I saw fear… or maybe horror in the face of the young lady at the counter. I felt her reluctance to give me more… that she might be losing her job or something. That her boss probably warned her that morning to just give two pieces of ketchup each customer, or else she’s dead.
She moved slowly like a victim in a primetime drama program who has no choice but to give in. She gave me one more. I told her it’s not enough (in a nice way). She gave another piece of ketchup and took a deep breath.
Then I remember this another experience from Jollibee. When I asked for more ketchup, the young lady at the counter did not show fear nor horror just like the first one.
But she gave me this weird look, that I am a hoarder of ketchup or something. That I have evil plans of collecting more Jollibee ketchups at home so I can use it when I eat my favorite fried egg in the morning because I can’t afford to buy a bottle of UFC “tamis anghang” banana ketchup.
Again, this has been a constant experience.
Maybe this is because of the fact that I often eat at Jollibee, but I know something has to be done.
So to further understand this, I’ve made my own investigation search for explanation.
I’ve talked to some people from Jollibee, most of them are previous managers or management trainees.
And they explained to me the concept of “Variance”
This is a bit technical but to explain in layman’s term, it’s just every ketchup, tissue or food served in every fast food has this allotted budget to use or consume in a specific time frame.
For example, assuming they can only use 20,000 pieces of ketchup packs in one month in a specific store. So in case, it’s just half of the month and they’ve already used all of their allotment, they still need to do their best to hit the target, and so the burden will be passed on to the customers – smaller food servings or in my case, meager ketchup. 🙁
So that explains it. Probably, you also have your own experience about this.
The concept of variance is widely used by most restaurants and fast foods. The difference is just how they approach the situation in case of not meeting their targets.
I just want to clarify that I have also experienced asking for more ketchup in other fast food chains, but I seldom get the horror look or the weird stare that I usually get from my beloved, Jollibee. 🙁
I understand this probably stems from the reality that Jollibee has a LOT of customers every day. They are the number one brand, claiming more than half of the market share of the entire industry in the country.
But being number one doesn’t mean being lax in customer experience.
And with Jollibee’s total sales of Php 104.1 Billion in 2013, an additional 2 small packs of ketchup is just a small amount for a customer, compared to the “fortune” they get from their avid Filipino fans.