Ten popular food cart businesses

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Food cart franchises have become a hit because of the Filipinos fervour for eating. . A food cart franchise is a business wherein you have a cart (or kiosk) that sells food to the public. These food carts can be found in accessible places where there is a high traffic of people such as malls, public transport stations, outside schools and public markets.

It is also a popular choice for those who want to start a business because one can avail of a franchise with only P20,000. In this set-up, the owner buys the right to sell a franchised product, and can opt to hire another person to man the cart. With a small investment, good location, right marketing and proper management, a lot people have succeeded in this business. So, for those who are interested in starting a franchise business, here’s a list of the most popular food cart businesses in the country.


One of the favorite Chinese foods of the Filipinos is the siomai. Siomai is a Chinese term which means Pork Dumplings. The traditional siomai is made up of seasoned ground pork and chopped shrimp. Before, siomai can only be eaten in Chinese restaurants but with the proliferation of the food cart businesses, it can be found almost anywhere. Kiosks normally offer variants like pork, beef, shrimp and Japanese siomai which is wrapped in seaweed. Some kiosks even offer this dimsum with rice, as Filipinos love eating everything with rice. Of course, you can’t miss the black gulaman which is also a staple offering in a siomai food cart.

Stir-fried noodles

This treat is made of semi-wet noodles fried together with bean sprout and topped with dumplings. What is unique and exciting about this is customers can mix their own sauce from a variety of sauce types such as oyster, teriyaki, toyomansi, chilli garlic, Szechuan and peanut. People love this food because it is convenient and affordable Popular franchises include Hong Kong Shanghai Style Noodles, The Noodle House and O’Noodle

Ice scramble

One of the newest entries in the food cart business is the ice scramble business. The concept of selling this in a franchise kiosk can be trace back to the younger days when children would run out of their houses to hail the manong who was pushing his rolling cart and selling his ever great-tasting ice scramble. This pink, favored crushed ice was made special with powdered milk on top and some chocolate syrup. The ice scramble now still uses the same ingredients and has the same taste as before, but there are a lot of garnishing offered to make it more enjoyable such as candy sprinkles and chocolate shaving. It now comes in nicely designed paper cup and with a little plastic spoon. Popular franchises include Ice Scramble and Icy Pink Scramble.


The popularity of sisig among the Filipinos became a hit food cart business. A sisig is a dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. It is a staple in a drinking session, but had also become a common viand. This treat is served as-is or with rice.

Popular franchises include Sisig Express, Sisig Hooray and Oh My Sisig.


Shawarma is a popular Arab food which consists of beef or chicken, cooked over a spit fire grill, topped with onions, tomatoes, cheese and cucumber and wrapped in pita bread. Shawarma franchise was just a fad in the early 90s, but is now making a comeback through food cart businesses. It is still successful because of its great and unique taste. Popular franchises include Babba Habba, Sha sha Shawarma, Jo Shawarma Khaleb Shawarma and Turk’s Shawarma


The waffle that is offered in these kiosks is not the usual batter- or dough-based cake that we top with fruits, syrups or ice cream. It has a special filling that makes it more special like cheese, hotdog and sausages. The waffles are stored in a heated oven to keep it fresh, hot and ready to eat. Popular franchises include Magic Waffle, Waffle Time and Belgian Waffle.

Fruit shake

Gifted with the abundant fruits that grow in a tropical climate, the Filipinos found a great way of enjoying these blessing – as a cool drink. This refreshing treat is made by blending your fruit/s of choice with ice, and the option to add syrup or milk to make it sweeter. People like this treat because they get the healthy serving of fruit that they need in a day, plus they get to take the heat off in a very enjoyable way. Popular franchises include Fruitas, Chillers, Big Chill and Juice Bar.

Pearl drinks

The pearl drink is another variety of beverage. Given the hot climate in the country, Filipinos are drawn to cooling drinks and beverages and one of the popular coolers in the country is the pearl drink. It derived its name from the black sago or tapioca added as topping into the drink, which can either be fruit shake or tea drink.

Popular franchises include Zagu, Orbitz, Dr. Pear and Black Zagobi.


The hotdog franchise is one of the oldest selling franchises in the country. Children are still often lining up for a hotdog stick or sandwich. These kiosks offer different sizes of hotdogs, so customers can select the size that can satisfy their hunger or craving. Customers can also jazz up their hotdog with ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or salsa.

Popular franchise include Oggie Doggie, Swift, and Purefoods


This snack is popular and selling because it is tasty and very easy to eat. People can enjoy this treat in different flavors such as barbeque, cheese and sour cream. Aside from the regular cut French fries, some kiosks also offer potato chips in different flavors as well. Potato fries and chips kiosk can be found in a lot of malls, groceries and public transportation stations and terminals because it can be conveniently enjoyed when you are waiting or killing time. It’s a fun and filling way to snack.

Popular franchises include Potato King, Potato Corner and NY Fries.




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