BIZ BUZZ: Scooping up Foodpanda assets


Businessman Lester Yu’s cloud restaurant Fly Kitchen is swooping in to take over some of the assets of Foodpanda, which is downsizing in the region and said to even be up for sale.

Fly Kitchen, owned by Yu’s Fruitas Holdings, acquired “top-notch” kitchen equipment such as gas fryers, ovens, coffee machines, freezers and chillers that were formerly owned by Foodpanda.

Not one to waste a rare opportunity to expand efficiently, Yu hopes this will help Fly Kitchen expand its menu and grow its business. The company’s brands include Hatid Pinoy, Jade Express, Kanin at Sabaw, among others.

“We are pleased to announce this tactical purchase of top-quality kitchen equipment from Foodpanda. This decision reflects our dedication to providing outstanding gastronomic experiences to our patrons,” said Yu, the CEO of Fruitas.

Many will recall that Yu acquired Fly Kitchen from entrepreneur Kristopher George Yang, son of fast food tycoon George Yang of McDonald’s Philippines. Yang then reinvested the money into the Fruitas Group as a conviction bet on Yu’s vision.

For now, it’s clear Fly Kitchen is preparing for yet another growth phase.

“The kitchen equipment will open the door for the company to collaborate with and prepare third-party brands, which would fit well with its present cloud kitchen operations,” it said.

—Miguel R. Camus

Extra hat for Jollibee exec

The Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) has elected Jollibee’s Joseph Tanbuntiong as its next president, making the top executive of the country’s well-known and beloved franchise brand as the new head of the trade organization.

Outgoing PFA president Sam Christopher Lim said that Tanbuntiong, who is currently the chief business officer of the Jollibee Foods Corp., will serve for two years starting January 2024.

“We are confident that he can steer us in the right direction given his time and years of experience at a leading franchise brand such as Jollibee,” Lim told Biz Buzz on the sidelines of the group’s press conference on Monday.

After stepping down as PFA president, Lim said that he will serve as chair of the group.

The PFA is looking to grow the local franchising industry’s revenues by 10 percent to 13 percent each annually for the next five years, signaling improved optimism from the nearly P30 billion sector in a postpandemic world.

—Alden M. Monzon

Warning against poseurs

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) warned the public about certain individuals posing as BFAR employees and using the name of its top official, Demosthenes Escoto, to ask for money from entities.

In an advisory, BFAR said it received multiple reports that these people are “maliciously” using Escoto’s name to solicit money from suppliers and bidders of BFAR projects and programs.

“Please be informed that such solicitations are fraudulent and unauthorized,” it said.

“We hereby warn the general public against unscrupulous persons engaged in fraudulent activities who are misrepresenting officials and employees of BFAR,” it added.

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BFAR is requesting the public to immediately report such activity to us for the conduct of appropriate action.

— Jordeene B. Lagare

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