Jollibee vs McDonald’s:
Which Fast-food Giant is Winning in Metro Manila?

Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

Jollibee and McDonald’s are two of the most dominant players in the fast-food industry in the country. Internationally, the U.S.-founded McDonald’s dwarfs homegrown Jollibee in terms of the number of stores; the former is at about 36,000 branches compared with the latter’s 1,100. But is it the same story when you set the competition against the Metro Manila backdrop?

We plotted the locations of Jollibee vs McDonald’s in Metro Manila to know exactly how their respective stores go head-to-head. The maps below show pretty interesting patterns.

But first, a few notes on how we generated the data: We used the information from Jollibee’s official website and McDonald’s Philippines mobile app for Android. The list may already be outdated, as a few stores that have been permanently closed are still listed; likewise, a number of relatively new stores are not yet in the list. Hence, we tried to come up with an updated data as best we can based on our personal knowledge of the stores’ status.

Let the “Langhap, sarap” and “Love ko ‘to!” battle begin!

The Battlegrounds

The figure below illustrates the concentration of Jollibee and McDonald’s branches. Displayed percentage values indicate their ratios with respect to each brands’ total number of branches in Metro Manila (e.g., about 5% of Jollibee’s stores in Metro Manila are located in the Makati CBD). The map also suggests that both brands use similar strategies in “deploying their units”—in this case, their branches— to stay ahead of each other.

Jollibee vs McDonald's in Metro Manila 1

This analysis shows that, as expected, most stores of either brands are located in areas with high population density, like in business districts and places with commercial centers. High foot traffic ensures the stores have constant influx of customers. Manila City, however, is different as the stores— both stand-alone and mall-based—are scattered all throughout.

Close Combat

Ever notice that for every Jollibee branch you see, chances are, a few meters away is a McDonald’s store? That’s not by coincidence. The map below identifies just how close one branch is to its competitor. The gray circles mean that a Jollibee store in that specific area is within a hundred meters from a McDonald’s branch. That’s good news for customers who are looking for options but are not keen on exploring farther just to satiate their hamburger cravings.

While most stores are still within the hotspots, there are a few outliers that are isolated but are still engaged with the competition.

Jollibee vs McDonald's in Metro Manila 2

Playing Monopoly

The next two maps show areas where distances between competing stores are relatively large, with some stores having no competition within two kilometers. When viewed in clusters, one brand appears to dominate certain spots.

The Jollibee-controlled areas are represented by white opaque circles, with the stores at the center. Their radii are drawn to scale to denote their distances to the nearest McDonald’s store.

A curious case: Monumento, as represented by the small, dark reddish area on the northwestern side of Metro Manila, appears to be a minor “battleground,” as both Jollibee and McDonald’s have a moderate number of clustered stores present in the district. However, the presence of Jollibee is significant in areas outside Monumento. In fact, Jollibee lords over its competitor starting from the surrounding areas in the Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela (CaMaNaVa) region and in Tondo, stretching down south to the streets of Sampaloc. Although Jollibee’s stores are not clustered, McDonald’s’ are more sparsely positioned and are outnumbered.

Jollibee vs McDonald's in Metro Manila 3

Now which areas has McDonald’s monopolized? Check out the yellow transparent circles in the map below.

The neighboring areas of SM North and TriNoma in Quezon City is the clown’s playground, as with NAIA in Pasay City, the Santolan-Manggahan area in Pasig City, and the vicinity of C5 in Taguig City.

Jollibee vs McDonald's in Metro Manila 4

Based on the two maps above, it looks like these two fast-food giants have brokered a deal in NAIA: McDonald’s has the northern side of it, while Jollibee has taken the west.

In this competition, the Bee is the clear winner, thanks to its strategic store locations and sheer visibility. But the real question is: Which fast-food chain has won you over?

All information presented here are based on limited data available and are only meant for an overview of the subject. For in-depth analyses, an extensive study is necessary.

Pushpins is a GIS company based in the Philippines. For more information, log on here.

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