Filipino fast food chain Jollibee plans to open 250 North American stores by 2023, reports Daily Hive.
Along with this expansion news, Jollibee also announced the opening of new North American headquarters in West Covina, California.
The red-and-white bee logo on the new headquarters off the I-10 will be visible as people enter and exit the city. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, West Covina mayor Lloyd Johnson said the city is looking forward to telling people it is the home of Jollibee.
In the Philippines, Jollibee is a dominant leader that beats out McDonald’s and Burger King in popularity and market shares, according to CNBC Make It. Its parent company, Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), is one of the world’s fastest growing Asian restaurant companies and has over 230 international branches, CultureMap Dallas reports.
“North America is a key growth market for us at Jollibee to achieve our goal of becoming one of the top 5 restaurant companies in the world,” said Jollibee Foods Corporation’s chief executive Ernesto Tanmantiong.
There are currently 46 Jollibee restaurants in the United States and Canada, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. Jollibee’s first America store was in California and opened in 1998.
According to CNBC Make It, Jollibee said it had “record-setting, double-digit sales growth” in the U.S. in 2017. Store openings in America have attracted crowds, and social media influencers have contributed a role in increasing interest through videos trying Jollibee’s menu.
Jollibee credited its worldwide appeal to its flagship product, Chickenjoy. The hand-breaded fried chicken made with a secret marinade has been praised for being crispy and juicy.
″[Jollibee] is going to be up there when we talk about Chick-fil-A and KFC, who’s got the best chicken?” Kara Nielsen, vice president of trends and marketing of the food and beverage consulting firm CCD Helmsman told CNBC Make It. “That I could see happening.”
Jollibee’s menu also includes Jolly Spaghetti, served with the Filipino staple banana ketchup as well as cheese and hot dog slices. The company also lists its Peach Mango Pie, which combines peaches and Philippine mangoes, as a fan favorite.
“One of the key things really is that it’s popular food — fried chicken, pasta, pies — but it’s twisted in a different way that’s very true to Jollibee in its uniqueness,” Jose Minana, Jollibee’s North America group president, told CNBC Make It. “It’s almost like a mosaic of different flavors, it’s not just that one blanket that fits all.”
Minana added that Jollibee was encouraged by the U.S. reception at the October opening of a Manhattan location where there is not necessarily a large population of Filipino Americans.
“It’s very humbling when [people] share their gratitude for us coming here, saying, ‘Thanks for giving us a new way of eating,’” Minana said.
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