Jollibee was only starting to establish its international presence in 1987 and among the countries it set its eyes on at the time, Brunei was the most successful due to the help of a strong local business partner. With the persistence and hard work of employees like Glenard Santidad, the business channels head and group manager of the Jollibee franchisee in Brunei, the brand has continued to thrive over the years, staying true to its mission of spreading the joy of eating to more and more people.
Currently with 19 stores, Jollibee has become one of the strongest Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) players in Brunei. In addition, 85 percent of their customers are Bruneians, marking its market dominance not only among Filipinos but also the country’s own locals.
This success stands as proof that when presented with once-in-a-lifetime opportunity alongside the right people, greatness awaits. In its 45th year, Jollibee Group celebrates Santidad who was also fortunate to be presented with the right opportunity with the right people, kicking off a storied career thus far. Starting as a crew member in a Jollibee branch in Muntinlupa, he has risen through the ranks, overcoming challenges, and earning well-deserved recognition along the way.
In 2003, Santidad’s former manager at Jollibee Alabang Junction informed him of a Crew Leader (CL) job post bound for Brunei and asked him if he was interested. “I was working for an encyclopedia company as a sales representative, then I decided to grab the opportunity to work abroad,” he said.
A resolute 20-year-old Santidad, whose background was computer technology, then embarked on his journey with Jollibee Brunei.
One of the initial obstacles he encountered was the language barrier. “I had a fear of talking to local customers since I didn’t understand the Malay language,” he recalled.
“Little by little, I learned their dialect by talking to some of our local employees. I wrote down the Malay words I learned for the day. Once I got home, I reviewed my notes and memorized those words so I could be confident in talking to our customers,” he said.
His commitment to learning not only allowed him to bridge the language gap but also fostered stronger bonds with his colleagues.
As CL, Santidad saw opportunities to improve store operations. “I supported my Restaurant Manager by implementing several projects on enhancing the quality of service and consistency in quality monitoring. We did a lot of training to ensure that all the SOPs (standard operating procedures) were in place and well-executed,” he shared.
As he progressed to the role of Store Officer-in-Charge (OIC) at Jollibee Giant Mall (now Rimba Point) Branch in 2009, his dedication and leadership skills became more evident, eventually leading him to become a restaurant manager in 2010 and then group manager in 2015.
In 2022, Santidad was promoted to Jollibee Brunei’s business channels head, where he oversees the systemwide sales and profit achievement in various business channels such as dine-in, take-out, drive-thru, and Jollibee express delivery. He is also responsible for improving efficiencies even further and providing consultative recommendations to the Operations Group. He continues to manage six stores as the group manager of Area 2.
Among the highlights of Santidad’s career was when he served as the OIC of Jollibee Giant Mall. “It was the first time our store was audited by Quality Management from the Philippines. That was 2009,” he recalled.
“I was not expecting that we could deliver a milestone for Jollibee Giant Mall as it was during my training period as the head of the store. Our approved Food, Service, and Cleanliness (FSC) target was Silver Award, coming from the Bronze of the previous team. Through teamwork and determination, we managed to bring the first-ever Gold Award for our branch. It was one of the best feelings as a Jollibee employee as everyone in Jollibee Brunei was so proud of our team.”
Another victory came in the form of the Brunei Food Awards, where Jollibee won the Best Fried Chicken in Brunei. “I am deeply honored to lead the team in preparing for that validation as we competed with some of the local restaurants and international quick service restaurant players here in Brunei,” Santidad said.
Keys to success
Behind the team is an impactful leader. Santidad gleans the most important lesson he learned from his leadership experience. “If you want to be a successful leader, you have to be a good example and a good follower so you can motivate your team and influence them to bring out the best in themselves,” he said.
“I believe the dedicated and hardworking people of Jollibee Brunei contribute a lot to the success of the brand. There are ups and downs, either in sales, profit, or FSC, but through teamwork and resiliency, Jollibee Brunei remains steadfast in delivering results year after year,” he added.
As Jollibee continues to thrive as the leading QSR chain in Brunei, so does its own people. “Last year, I decided to pursue a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management – Hospitality Track at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde,” he proudly shared. “I will be included in this year’s graduation, sometime in November.”
Santidad’s story underscores the power of determination, teamwork, and the rewards of hard work in a vibrant and dynamic industry.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph