In the Philippines, home is where the adobo is, with each home having their own version of this beloved, century-old dish. Adobo–a braised meat stew–is viewed as too basic and nuanced a dish for the country’s food service industry to take on. Perceiving a huge untapped market opportunity, Meredith Ngo launched Adobo Connection, the first Filipino fast casual restaurant dedicated to serving the country’s national dish at affordable rates to the Filipino public. Growing primarily through franchising, Adobo Connection was recognized as The Next Big Franchise by Entrepreneur Philippines in 2012, and has since replicated this success with another popular restaurant concept, Chopstop.
Born and raised in Manila, Meredith graduated from De La Salle University with a degree in Applied Economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. During her time at graduate school, she met Jerome Uy, who is now her husband. While at HBS, Meredith and Jerome would frequently entertain their classmates by cooking adobo, which was the couple’s favorite dish. Upon returning home to the Philippines, Meredith was perplexed that they couldn’t find adobo in the casual fast-food chains back home, which has not yet found its way out of homes and onto menus. Using US$100,000 in savings, Meredith launched the first Adobo Connection store along a busy street in the country’s central business district in 2011. It became the first fast casual restaurant chain dedicated to the Philippines’ national dish. Within less than two years of operation, Adobo Connection opened its twentieth franchise, demonstrating that it was not a passing fad. To replicate their success, Meredith launched her second concept, Chopstop, geared towards a more cosmopolitan, aspirational crowd.
Meredith represents Endeavor Philippines’ first restaurant company and female entrepreneur. She has proven herself to be a role model and mentor as an active local board member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Harvard Business Club. By far, her greatest impact on the ecosystem has been through Adobo Connection, which is responsible for 700 direct and indirect local jobs thus far, resulting in a great recipe for success!