Cheese Steak Shop in the Philippines

The United States-based Cheese Steak Shop recently opened its first store in the Philippines, its first international expansion. It set up a shop in Makati City.

Philippine franchise owner Margaret “Mai” Uy, in an interview, said she persistently courted the US company for 22 years while she was a student of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

Uy said she got her first taste of cheese steak sandwich at Walnut Creek and since then, she kept on approaching the management of the Cheese Steak Shop to inquire if it has plan of branching outside the US.

She said she finally convinced the firm to set up its first ever international expansion here since it opened in 1982 in Divisadero St., in San Francisco, California.

Uy expressed confidence that the Cheese Steak Shop, which serves the original Philadelphia-style cheese steak sandwich, will be a hit here as it targets to cater expatriates and the working class.

Steve Oakes, president of the Cheese Steak Shop Franchise Corp., said the company has 29 stores in the US and one franchise along Arnaiz Avenue in Makati.

Oakes estimates about 5,000 cheese steak sandwiches are sold per store in a month. The chain produces two million cheese steaks in a year.

The Cheese Steak Shop is the only known restaurant chain in Northern California that makes the tasty original Philadelphia-style cheese steak sandwich — a combination of mouth watering taste of prime cut beef, grilled onions and cheese deliciously packed on 7-inch. 10-inch and 15-inch rolls topped with hot and sweet pepper for added sting and flavor.

“We have great success so far. I know Filipinos love to eat. Beef is popular item here and we offer high-quality steak sandwich as all ingredients are imported from the US,” said Oakes.

Meanwhile, Uy said she is considering other locations for the planned additional branches of Cheese Steak Shop in the country.

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