Food & Drink
Meet the Man Behind One of the Biggest Multi-Brand Food Empires in Manila
Tim Ho Wan, Todd English Food Hall, and Mesa are just some of the restaurants under FooDee Global Concepts' impressive portfolio.
IMAGE MIGUEL NACIANCENO
Comments

Very few are fortunate enough to know early on just what they want to do in life. Eric Dee not only knew what he wanted to do at a young age—he was born into it.

Foodee Global Concepts, originally Food Link, has been around for the past three decades. It was started by Rikki and Beng Dee (Eric’s parents), through a little place on Pasay Road called Chin Chin. Its success led them to open Chin’s Express and Inihaw Express, which are now staples in every major mall food court. There was no stopping them from there. Casual dining options in the form of Crocodile Grille and Kai followed. Then, Foodee Global introduced its bet for a Filipino dining experience through Mesa.


Eric Dee

All the while, since the ripe age of 13, Eric had been fully immersed in understanding the inner workings of a restaurant, even spending some time in the kitchens of some fast food joints. Because of this constant training, getting a steady foothold as president of the company, later on, was a natural progression.

With the success shared by all of Foodee’s brands, its next move was to look outside the country for exciting new things to introduce to the market. Within three years, they brought in Todd English Food Hall and related brands (Pound and Hook), Davide Oldani, Llaollao, and Tim Ho Wan. But bringing these in didn’t hinder the company from pushing its local concepts, even opening a California diner-inspired restaurant called Sunnies Cafe. By this time, its philosophy was clear: provide the city with options that are pleasantly indulgent, without the lavish price tag.


The seafood platter at Hook by Todd English

At present, Foodee has a total of 200 shops, with more underway. Amidst the long string of brands, Dee has donned another hat as a venture capitalist. Through the Ultimate Taste Test Pro, aspiring food-centric businesses are given the chance to show off their products. Winners are invested in, and scaled, while earning top-tier business advice and support from Dee himself.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The very near future plans for Foodee involve a large scale food hall featuring the specialties of some well-known restaurants; a partnership between a local chef and Spanish restaurant group; and the biggest yet, a Mesa right smack in the center of West Hollywood, in Beverly Grove.

“My recommendation for people who want to open a restaurant? Don’t do it,” he says jokingly, hints of truth between the chuckles. “Only unless you really love it, and you have time for it, and you work hard to get back what you’ve spent.” That’s sound advice coming from one of the busiest and most successful people in the business. Best you take it, if you know what’s good for you.

This story was originally published in the November 2017 issue of Town&Country.

Comments
About The Author
Michelle Ayuyao
View Other Articles From Michelle Ayuyao
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
"Dead Whale" was inspired by the 38-foot juvenile sperm whale washed ashore on Samal Island in Davao del Norte in 2016.
 
Share
Located in the City of Dreams Macau, Morpheus represents a new chapter in entertainment culture and hospitality for Asia.
 
Share
You’ll want to buy everything in this sophisticated space.
 
Share
Three restaurants in Japan, six in the U.S., seven in Spain, and more to add on your travel Eat List.
 
Share
Prince Louis isn't the only new baby in the royal family.
 
Share
Diana's famous tiara made a stunning wedding appearance.
 
Share
Facts about our National Hero that may have been overlooked in the teaching of history in classrooms.
 
Share
Plus, she gives us a taste of what's to come this year.
 
Share
Watch our panel on Conscious Capitalism from the Town & Country Philanthropy Summit.
 
Share
From her special green juice to nontraditional flours.
 
Share
First Ladies Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, and Carter have all spoken out against the current practice of separating children from their guardians.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US