Don't Panic: Uncle John's Fried Chicken Is Here to Stay

The question on everyone's mind.

News broke over the weekend that Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) will be acquiring Ministop Japan’s 40 percent stake in Robinsons Convenience Stores, Inc. (RCSI). This will up RRHI's stake in Ministop Philippines to 100 percent. To businessmen and stock traders, that means RCSI is now the exclusive franchisee of Ministop in the Philippines. 

But to the average customer, the question on everyone’s mind is, what does this mean for Uncle John’s Fried Chicken, the go-to affordable lunch meal for nearly every corporate worker in Metro Manila? Don’t panic: Ministop Philippines might be under new owners, but Uncle John’s is here to stay. 

Ministop’s crispy and juicy chicken meal, as well as the popular Kariman, will continue to be sold in Ministop stores during the acquisition’s transition period. But the Ministop brand will be “repurposed and appropriately rebranded” once the agreed upon period is up, according to RRHI’s latest press release. 

“Under the Ministop banner we were able to bring to the public well-loved products and essential services,” said Robina Gokongwei-Pe, RRHI President & CEO.

“Our stores will continue to carry our bestsellers while we continue to diversify our ready-to-eat menu and offer new products to the market," said Suresh Ramalinggam, General Manager of Ministop Philippines.

The name of Uncle John's Fried Chicken was actually inspired by the late industrialist John Gokongwei Jr., whose friends and colleagues called him "Big John." Gokongwei founded JG Summit and led the Gokongwei family's group of companies, which includes RRHI and RCSI, until his death in 2019. 


With such an important history behind the fan-favorite budget meal, there's no need to worry, folks. Uncle John’s Fried Chicken isn’t going anywhere. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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