Thursday, March 28, 2024

Amizah Catubig's Transition from Part-Time Service Crew to Full-Time Area Manager at Jollibee Foods Corporation

“Out of the 18 applicants at that time, I was blessed to become one of the three who passed and got hired. Nasa news parati ang Basilan during this time. There were bombings and threats in [the] town. Rizal Park, which is just in front of the store, was bombed. (“Basilan was always in the news during this time.”). We felt the impact in the store. We witnessed [how] the customers panicked. We posted merchandising materials strategically for awareness. We strengthened store Food Service Cleanliness (FSC) Standards and implemented cost-saving initiatives. Our frontliners communicated to our customers in the local dialect for them to feel at home. We were able to turn a negative store into a profitable one. I am in the position to influence others to embrace the differences, [to] respect the person’s culture and religion. Inaaral ko ‘yung dialect saan man ako ma-assign to really blend in with the team. (“I learned their dialect wherever I was assigned to really blend in with the team.”) “Pinapakita ko sa gawa. At pinaparamdam ko that we are fair to all,” she said. (“I show by doing. And I make them feel that we are fair to all.”). Gumanda ang buhay namin because of Jollibee. (We have a better life today because of Jollibee.”). I personally pay the utilities of our mosque monthly. Natuto kaming makisalamuha at the age of 5. Nakitira kami, palipat-lipat sa bahay ng lola at tita namin. (“We had to learn how to deal with people at age 5. We lived with our grandmother and aunt and would move between their houses.”). Ang Alagang Jollibee ay madadama mo. (“You can feel the Alagang Jollibee. It fosters a culture that values respect and fairness. I take [that] pride where I go, that I work in a company that values its people and promotes Filipino values.” ~Amizah Jobaina Catubig, first female manager of Jollibee Basilan
Driven to push through. Amizah had humble beginnings at Jollibee, failing the application twice for an operations management trainee position before finally passing the screening. But once taken in, she resolved to make it to the top, from part-time service crew to becoming a training manager in only a year to managing seven Jollibee stores in Davao today.

Amizah Jobaina Catubig is credited with being Jollibee Basilan's first female manager. Furthermore, in just her first year as manager, she oversaw the store's receipt of its first Gold Award from the organization's Food, Safety, and Cleanliness (FSC) Standards audit.

Amizah began her career as a part-time service crew member and is currently the Area Manager (AM) of seven Jollibee locations in Davao. 

She currently lists her January 5, 2003, start at the Jollibee Climaco location in Zamboanga City as one of the most memorable moments of her 20 years with the Jollibee Group.

Around a year after she took over the Jollibee Basilan branch, Amizah, and the team worked on their goals and eventually earned a double 100% rating in the corporate audit and bagged its first Gold Award in FSC in 2011.

A colorful career in Mindanao

It took Amizah, or Jov to her colleagues, three tries before landing a job in Jollibee in 2003.

In 2004, she became the cluster's training manager and led staff training and deployment for new stores in the Zamboanga City area. Three years later, she became an Assistant Manager.

Amizah remained in the Mindanao region for the next eight years, taking on both exciting and challenging stores. She served as Officer-in-Charge of the Jollibee Zamboanga Tumaga kiosk, a branch struggling with sales then. She became the first female Restaurant Manager from Zamboanga at Jollibee Basilan, Jollibee’s 500th store. After this, she had supervisory stints in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay; Vamenta and Kasuwagan, Cagayan de Oro; and Pershing, Zamboanga. 

She continued her stint in downtown Zamboanga by handling clusters in Pagadian and Ozamis in 2017 and those in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat in 2021 at the height of the pandemic.

With a 20-year career in Jollibee, Amizah is grateful to be part of a company like the Jollibee Group that genuinely looks after its employees’ careers and well-being. Jollibee Group has long committed to providing its employees a nourishing professional workplace culture while sustaining its growth. The company continues to reinforce its global standing after receiving TIME Magazine's World's Best Companies award and its second Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award in 2023.

A challenge matched with resolve

Of all these stints, Amizah considers the one at Jollibee Basilan in 2010 as the most challenging because of a bombing incident at the park in front of the store, which claimed the lives of ten individuals and sowed fear within the community. 

As a result, store sales suffered. To overcome this, their team beefed up the store’s security workforce and requested police visibility within store premises.

A year after the incident, Jollibee Basilan achieved its first Gold Award in FSC, the prestigious Presidential Awards for Performance Excellence (PAPE). Apart from that, they also achieved a double 100% rating in the corporate audit, another first for the branch, which covers auditing of internal processes. 

FSC is Jollibee’s trademark of service: Food (F) served to the public must meet the company’s excellence standards, or it will not be served at all; the Service (S) must be fast and courteous; Cleanliness (C), from kitchen to utensils, must always be maintained. 

PAPE, meanwhile, signifies the highest level of accomplishment in Jollibee, characterized by the store team’s achievement of the target sales, profit, FSC rating, and operations team performance requirements.

Embracing cultures and ensuring standards

Amizah ensured that she embraced diversity and inclusivity in the Jollibee branches she handled.

All seven Davao stores she currently supervises have received valuable feedback from customers in the Muslim community, particularly for their pork-free offerings that are labeled accordingly on the menu.

Pride in Alagang Jollibee

Jollibee’s unique brand of care extends not only to its customers, but even so to its employees. 

The eldest in the family, Amizah supported the college education of her three younger siblings, who are now all gainfully employed. She was also able to build her family’s home. 

Since her promotion to Area Manager in 2016, she has been extending help to the community where she lives. 

Born to OFW parents—her mother as a house helper and her father as a family driver in the Middle East—Amizah was raised by her grandparents. She grew up knowing how difficult life could be. 

Alagang Jollibee is how she refers to the way the company cares for its employees.

Amizah is proud to be part of Jollibee.

About Jollibee Group 
Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC, also known as Jollibee Group) is one of the fastest-growing restaurant companies in the world. Its mission is to serve great-tasting food and bring the joy of eating to everyone through its 18 brands with over 6,800 stores across 33 countries including the Philippines, United States, Canada, the People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, and Australia. 

The Jollibee Group has eight wholly owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger); four franchised brands (Burger King, Panda Express, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines, and Tim Ho Wan in certain territories in China); 80% ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf; 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee; and 51% ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand. JFC also has a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless for Tortazo, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States.

The Jollibee Group, through its subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) owns 92% participating interest in Titan Dining LP, a private equity fund that owns the Tim Ho Wan brand. The Jollibee Group has a joint venture with the THW Group to open and operate THW restaurants in Mainland China. Recently, the Jollibee Group has signed an agreement to establish a joint venture company that will own and operate Tiong Bahru Bakery and Common Man Coffee Roasters in the Philippines. 

The Jollibee Group has launched its global sustainability agenda dubbed Joy for Tomorrow, which aims to strengthen the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. The agenda centers on the key pillars of Food, People, and Planet, and consists of 10 focus areas namely: food safety, food quality, nutrition & transparency, employee welfare, farmers livelihood, community support, good governance, packaging & recycling, waste reduction, and energy & water efficiency. Each focus area sets goals and initiatives that contribute and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The Jollibee Group was named the Philippines' most admired company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for ten years. It was also honored as one of Asia's Fab 50 Companies and among the World's Best Employers and World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes. The company is also a two-time recipient of Gallup’s Exceptional Workplace Award, making it the only Philippine-based company to receive the distinction. 

To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit

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