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Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff?!

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Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff?!

Postby Winston » Tue May 24, 2011 6:12 pm

Today at Shakey's, a pizza chain in the Philippines, Dianne ordered a meal consisting of fish sticks, fries and calamari rings. It turned out to be a small portion spread out over a big plate. Sheesh. Yet the cost of it was 317p. That's like $7, sheesh. In the US, for $7 you can get a buffet lunch special at Pizza Hut with all you can eat salad and pizza. Sheesh. Even at Olive Garden, you can get lunch specials for around that price, which includes unlimited refills on salad and breadsticks. Yet amazingly, Shakey's is usually crowded!

Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff? Why do they charge higher prices in America and give you smaller portions and lower quality food? Sheesh. Eating out is often such a disappointment in the Philippines! It's like nothing is good here except the sweet friendly girls you meet. Dang.

Another big ripoff is the Italiannis fine dining chain in the Philippines. These restaurants are decorated inside like a wanna-be Olive Garden, but their prices are the most ridiculous I've ever seen. Anything you order under 300p will be baby size. To get a medium sized meal (by Filipino standards, not American), you gotta spend at least 400 or 500p. Sheesh, for that price you can eat at a nice restaurant in Carmel, CA or Fishermen's Wharf in Monterey, CA, which has some of the best seafood in the world. Compared to such places, Italiannis is a total joke. What a total ripoff.

Why do middle/upper class Filipinos keep such places in business that are total ripoffs, as though the prices were worth the value to them, when they are clearly not? Their tastes must suck.

Why would a third world country charge more in restaurants than a first world country? I don't get it. Expats retire in the Philippines for the cheaper cost of living supposedly, but when you see the restaurant prices in the Philippines for what you get, you shake your head and doubt whether that is true or not.

It's so ridiculous to think that if you wanna eat well in the Philippines, you gotta pay MORE than you would in the US! Dang!

Most of the cheap food in the Philippines is not even edible to foreigners, unlike other Asian countries.

Electronics are also a ripoff in the Philippines. Cameras and laptops are usually 30 or 40 percent more expensive than in the US.
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Re: Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff?!

Postby Rock » Tue May 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Winston wrote:Today at Shakey's, a pizza chain in the Philippines, Dianne ordered a meal consisting of fish sticks, fries and calamari rings. It turned out to be a small portion spread out over a big plate. Sheesh. Yet the cost of it was 317p. That's like $7, sheesh. In the US, for $7 you can get a buffet lunch special at Pizza Hut with all you can eat salad and pizza. Sheesh. Even at Olive Garden, you can get lunch specials for around that price, which includes unlimited refills on salad and breadsticks. Yet amazingly, Shakey's is usually crowded!

Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff? Why do they charge higher prices in America and give you smaller portions and lower quality food? Sheesh. Eating out is often such a disappointment in the Philippines! It's like nothing is good here except the sweet friendly girls you meet. Dang.

Another big ripoff is the Italiannis fine dining chain in the Philippines. These restaurants are decorated inside like a wanna-be Olive Garden, but their prices are the most ridiculous I've ever seen. Anything you order under 300p will be baby size. To get a medium sized meal (by Filipino standards, not American), you gotta spend at least 400 or 500p. Sheesh, for that price you can eat at a nice restaurant in Carmel, CA or Fishermen's Wharf in Monterey, CA, which has some of the best seafood in the world. Compared to such places, Italiannis is a total joke. What a total ripoff.

Why do middle/upper class Filipinos keep such places in business that are total ripoffs, as though the prices were worth the value to them, when they are clearly not? Their tastes must suck.

Why would a third world country charge more in restaurants than a first world country? I don't get it. Expats retire in the Philippines for the cheaper cost of living supposedly, but when you see the restaurant prices in the Philippines for what you get, you shake your head and doubt whether that is true or not.

It's so ridiculous to think that if you wanna eat well in the Philippines, you gotta pay MORE than you would in the US! Dang!

Most of the cheap food in the Philippines is not even edible to foreigners, unlike other Asian countries.

Electronics are also a ripoff in the Philippines. Cameras and laptops are usually 30 or 40 percent more expensive than in the US.


1. Don't talk about electronics. Everyone knows they are cheapest in the first world. The same often holds for decent cars. Imported items are taxed by the governments, sometimes exorbitantly. It all depends on their trade policies, local rivals, etc. I remember a few years ago when I bought my 11' Sony Vaeo laptop, I compared its price in over 10 countries. The cheapest was Taiwan for US$2,300 at the computer fair. Japan and Korea were slightly more expensive. USA and Australia were a few hundred dollars more. Thailand was in the US$3,000s. And Brazil was over US$5,000!

2. Costs in a given country for a given item or service are influenced by a myriad of factors - local raw materials, import duties, economic scale, supply/demand market dynamics, labor laws, average wage, etc. And of course, many countries are cheap for some things and expensive for others. For example, Taipei is relatively cheap for transport, eating, and renting, upper medium for P4P, and downright expensive for residential real estate purchase.

3. Many everyday items are cheapest in middle income or lower middle income countries, not the poorest countries. Dirt poor countries can be expensive for things we take for granted if their local market does not support sufficient scale for those items and/or if the producers/importers have not set-up an efficient infrastructure to make them cheaply. For example, hotel rooms, rents, taxi rides, etc. can be a lot more expensive in Nairobi than in Bangkok even though Nairobi is much poorer. Inefficiency can be very expensive for the business operators and of course these costs get passed down to the consumer. Chile is probably the richest country on the South American continent. But a classy meal with wine there is a lot cheaper than in Brazil or Colombia.
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Postby momopi » Tue May 24, 2011 6:55 pm

Well, there's a possible business opportunity right there. If you can open an Italian restaurant that serves better tasting food in larger portions for less $, your restaurant would be packed.
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Postby Mr S » Tue May 24, 2011 6:56 pm

Why do you keep patronizing these establishments then? Why are you still hanging with Diane? You're just recreating the same boom and bust cycle with her you always complain about....FINISH IT :!: :twisted:

They raise the prices because they know middle class and above Filipinos won't go to cheaper options usually. So when there is a lesser market share of people that can actually afford the food plus nice environment to eat in away from the "common" dregs of Filipino society, wealthy locals and foreigners will more than be happy to pay inflated food prices in exchange for inferior food quality and service.

As you know there are limited decent eating establishments anywhere in the Philippines, as long as it is a chain store that is Filipino owned, as long it has a fake enough cheap atmosphere of decency than it will attract locals. Most don't know the difference between what is mediocre and decent anyways.

Every large Filipino chain place sucks, but Filipinos are brainwashed into thinking they are great! I.e: Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Deli France, Gilligan's, Gerry's, Shakey's, Italiannis, Mang Inasal, etc.

The only places that are tolerable for take out is Andoks chicken and some other one called Baliwag something or other. But they are mainly just roasted chicken or pork for take out, not sit in.

I almost never patronize Filipino owned chains unless I absolutely have no other choice, you should boycott them too.
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Postby pete98146 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:58 pm

momopi wrote:Well, there's a possible business opportunity right there. If you can open an Italian restaurant that serves better tasting food in larger portions for less $, your restaurant would be packed.


There is one down in Cebu and it's ALWAYS packed to the gills.
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Postby Winston » Tue May 24, 2011 7:31 pm

Mr S,
How can you be brainwashed into thinking something tastes great, if your taste buds think it sucks?

But of course, Filipinos probably have different taste buds than we do.

How can I know if a chain is Filipino owned? What are the signs of Filipino ownership? I think if you look at other customers' plates and notice that the portions are small and meager, it's likely to be Filipino owned.

What chains are your favorite places to eat at?

There is one Mexican food chain that is pretty good in the Philippines that has many vegetarian options. It's called Mexicali. Many SM malls in Manila have it.

The Vietnamese chain Pho Hoc in the malls are also not bad. But I have no idea who owns them.

But it's a hit or miss. Most of the time if you walk into a random place to eat in the Philippines, you will get disappointed. In contrast, if you go to the SF Bay Area and walk into a random place to eat, most of the time you will get good food or great food. Big difference.

That's so obvious, but most Filipinos don't like to hear about it for some reason.

In SM Clark, the only chains I can eat at are Sbarro and Karate Kid. Sbarro here is mostly the same as in America, so that's good. I get tired of frequenting the same places, so sometimes I go to different chains. Shakey's vegetarian pizza is ok, but today when I got the thin crust version, it looked smaller. The manager told me it was smaller cause the thick crust version I had before expands in the oven, adding a few extra inches to the diameter, whereas the thin crust version doesn't.

Shakey's is a ripoff and an insult. The 200 - 250p spaghetti plates there are TODDLER SIZE, not adult size! How does the owner sleep at night, knowing that he's a stingy kuripot and rips people off? The Filipino people must be stupid to continue frequenting the chain of such a stingy owner who rips them off. What a bizarre scenario!

I ought to find out the name of the owner and put his full name in the scam board here to get it indexed in Google! :twisted: Same with the owner of Italiannis. :twisted:
Last edited by Winston on Tue May 24, 2011 7:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Winston » Tue May 24, 2011 7:33 pm

pete98146 wrote:
momopi wrote:Well, there's a possible business opportunity right there. If you can open an Italian restaurant that serves better tasting food in larger portions for less $, your restaurant would be packed.


There is one down in Cebu and it's ALWAYS packed to the gills.


Is it a chain? What's the name of it? Have you tried it? Was it good or did it suck?
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Postby Mr S » Wed May 25, 2011 3:02 am

Filipino's just follow fads and crowds, that's how they get suckered into liking things that actually suck, not just food either. Most Filipino owned joints are overpriced, and give you less food than Western owned and operated joints. For some reason the better locally owned places are really expensive in comparison to what you pay. You don't eat meat so you wouldn't have gone to some of these places. Like "Brothers Burgers", is very expensive even for foreigners but yet seems to be quite popular and does well. How can Filipinos spend 300p+ on a burger that doesn't even come with fries or drinks? I never eat there if I can help it. The Mexacali place is tolerable but once again way too overpriced. I once payed close to 700P for one meal! I had bought one of their larger item menus and that plus a drink, total rip off. But if you want to actually be full you have to spend crazy money in Filipino places. The Vietnamese place is ok, but once again overpriced considering what they pay for noodles, vegetables, spices and meat. They mostly put noodles and only a little of the rest.

All the foreigner owned places are names you know from back in America, except for maybe Gloria Jeans the coffee place, that's Australian. Most others will be Chinese-Filipino owned. There really aren't too many Western name places in comparison to local ones, and the ones that do exist are usually in the bigger malls.

I try not to go to Filipino chain places if I can help it. But even local foreign owned places piss me off a lot too. Like KFC really makes me mad sometimes with the way they do business and treat the customer, and they give very small portions too for what you actually pay. Try ordering something you like at KFC, around an hour before closing time and see what kind of lame excuses they give you. I've blown up so many times in those places because of their lying closing early scheme when their sign says they are supposed to stay open until a certain time and serve the food thats on the menu. If they want to close early and not serve food than they should change posted hours.

Just video tape the idiocy of Filipino places such as inflated food prices, small potions, lying employees, etc and post on You Tube, that gets the companies attention more so than text based web sites. You should buy a cell phone with a decent camera so you can wip it out when you encounter any of their crap.
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Re: Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff?!

Postby odbo » Wed May 25, 2011 9:43 am

Winston wrote:Today at Shakey's, a pizza chain in the Philippines, Dianne ordered a meal consisting of fish sticks, fries and calamari rings.


:shock: three different things fried is what's considered a meal? like momopi said, time you went into the restaurant business. your raw food restaurant will take off after they see how healthy the owner is :roll:
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Postby The_Adventurer » Wed May 25, 2011 1:09 pm

Shakey's is an American chain like KFC. You're paying for "imported foreign food" aside from the high quality atmosphere. If you want to eat the good 'ol western food you're used to everyday, you'll pay as much as you paid back home. Maybe you haven't been back to the USA in a while, but I don't think $7 will get you very much.
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Postby Mr S » Wed May 25, 2011 2:51 pm

Terrence wrote:Shakey's is an American chain like KFC. You're paying for "imported foreign food" aside from the high quality atmosphere. If you want to eat the good 'ol western food you're used to everyday, you'll pay as much as you paid back home. Maybe you haven't been back to the USA in a while, but I don't think $7 will get you very much.


Shakeys is the worst pizza in all the Philippines and is not high quality food or atmosphere. But yeah the average dope is probably paying extra for the name and the make believe illusion that they actually sell decent pizza...
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Postby Winston » Thu May 26, 2011 9:28 am

Terrence wrote:Shakey's is an American chain like KFC. You're paying for "imported foreign food" aside from the high quality atmosphere. If you want to eat the good 'ol western food you're used to everyday, you'll pay as much as you paid back home. Maybe you haven't been back to the USA in a while, but I don't think $7 will get you very much.


What do you mean "you'll pay as much as you paid back home"? Did you read my post? I said in the PH, you PAY A LOT MORE FOR LESS FOOD AND LESSER QUALITY FOOD. I'm not complaining about US restaurant prices! You got it backwards.

I don't think Shakey's food is imported. It doesn't taste imported. Do you think McDonald's food is imported there? lol

You can get meals for $7 in the US. Go to Pizza Hut or Little Caesar's during lunch on a weekday. They have lunch specials and even lunch buffets for around that price. Dinner is more of course.

The Pizza Hut in the Philippines is a ripoff too. They give smaller portions than in the US.

Mr S,
Actually I can eat at Mexicalis for 125p. Their vegetarian burrito with chips and salsa is at that price and tastes decent and fresh. I can double the burrito size for 180p. And their vegetarian burger at 180p is pretty big. I could not even finish it last time. But yeah some of their meal combos for 300 - 400p aren't worth it. Compared to other chains, it's a much much better deal and when I go there, I am full and satisfied.
Last edited by Winston on Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Winston » Mon May 30, 2011 12:08 pm

Check out this World66 restaurant guide page to Angeles City. 80 to 90 percent of what it says are f***ing LIES! What the hell are they doing? They take the shittiest place and claim that it has an ambient atmosphere (like Margarita Station for instance) and great food. What a crock of lies. 90 percent of restaurants there are disappointments, so how can it be 100 percent positive about everything? World66.com is a bunch of f***ing liars.

http://www.world66.com/asia/southeastas ... eating_out

Btw Terrence, the Shakeys in the US you're referring to may not be the same Shakeys in the PH. Filipinos often copy American restaurant chain names, such as "Spaghetti Factory" or "Olive Garden" for their restaurants, even though their food is not even in the same universe as those American chains.
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Another horror story about Shakeys, the Filipino one

Postby Winston » Mon May 30, 2011 12:13 pm

Check out what this expat said about his horror experience at Shakeys. lol

Hi Winston,

Absolutely right. I was in Shakey's here 2 days ago. It's one of 2 non-vegetarian places here that have some decent options for me.

I ordered, as usual, the vegetarian pizza, thick crust, no mushrooms, no cheese, "large" size. A girl took the order.

After 10 minutes a guy came out. It was a THIN-crust "pizza" WITH mushrooms, WITHOUT any sauce. And their definition of "large"? 11 inches diameter? This cost what -- P400 plus or minus, and was an 11-inch-by-1/4-inch piece of dough with barely anything on top.

I sent it back. 10 minutes later it came back: No mushrooms this time (good), but still THIN crust, and a layer of sauce about 3 microns thick.

I was with Anne and 3 older folks, one of whom was paying, but I called the manager. A damned attractive woman came out, and I didn't want to give her a hard time but I roasted her anyway. I said "In America, this would be small. You call it "large"! 11 inches?! What the hell is small now, palm-sized?" And I mentioned that either her waitress doesn't know how to write, or the chef doesn't know how to read. She offered to give us that one for free and make another one free of charge, but I said "No thanks" because I had already decided, this is the last Shakeys pizza I want to have. The vegetarian places here does the best-tasting pizza I have ever had, pizza or not. They use cheese made from cashew nuts.

I absolutely agree. The food is the smallest expense of running a restaurant. It costs pennies to add another 2 inches to a pizza. And yet they charge an arm and a leg for some pathetic piece of dough that they've smeared the thinnest possible layer of sauce on. I have never gone to any other chain except Chow King, but I know a guy who installed a computer network in the branch here and he's telling everyone "Don't go there... rats and rat shit everywhere! The kitchen is FILTHY."

I think one way to tell a good restaurant from bad is the service charge. Shakey's charges 10% "service charge". Well, "service" means the waitstaff... so you order P2,000 worth of food, the waitress and cook together work about 15 minutes, and they get 10% of 2,000? That's a whole day's salary for 15 minutes' work. It's not a "service charge" at all -- it's a forced tip. Tipping should be VOLUNTARY -- that's the whole POINT of a tip.

99% of the time we go to the vegetarian place where the food is great, prices are reasonable, no service charge, wonderful customers and staff, and I am always happy to leave a tip.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Mon May 30, 2011 1:51 pm

You'll notice that I put "imported foreign foods" in quotes. The price tag is based on an illusion. The food in McDonald's or Burger King may not be imported, but the fast food stuff tastes exactly the same as the US version as far as I can remember. KFC uses smaller chicken parts is PH, but I heard that when they opened it was the same as the US, but legal issues forced them to change. Pizza Hut, though, was far from the same quality as in the US. Shakey's is not everywhere in the US like the big chains, and I think I was kid last time I ate at one, but it does look pretty much the same.

I might be remembering California prices more than anything else, but still $7 doesn't get much last time I was eating out.
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