An Asian fast food chain is launching its second UK restaurant in Liverpool

September 3, 2020

Jollibee, the home of Asia’s favourite fried chicken and the Philippines’ largest fast-food chain, launches a second UK restaurant in Liverpool.

Jollibee is famous across the world for bringing an Asian twist to a traditional western menu, with unique food combinations including crispy fried chicken with a side of sweet spaghetti.

The brand has a cult following amongst the Filipino diaspora around the globe, from Hong Kong to New York and now here in the UK. The first British store opened in Earl’s Court, London in 2018, winning the hearts and taste-buds of the locals.

The first British store opened in Earl’s Court, London in 2018, winning the hearts and taste-buds of the locals. In the first two weeks of the store launch, Jollibee sold over half a million pieces of chicken! Jollibee’s ambitions did not stop in London however, with a new restaurant launching in Liverpool in September and in Leicester later this year.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Over the next 3-5 years, Jollibee intends to open 50 stores in the UK, with further plans in Italy, Spain and other European markets. Jollibee serves up the crispiest, juiciest and tastiest fried chicken around, with a diverse menu including chicken burgers, hotdogs, fries, desserts and refreshing drinks.

Liverpool customers will be the first to try new menu items, launching for the first time ever Asian Slaw, Tropical Burger, Mango Coconut Sundae and Asian Chicken Tender Rice Bowl. Proudly family-owned, their values are demonstrated in their promise to bring great service and a smile to every customer. The new restaurant in Liverpool will offer a new, unique and, most importantly, fun experience to everyone who comes through the door, all at an affordable price point.

The much loved Chickenjoy is Jollibee’s signature dish, served up extra crispy on the outside and marinated to be extra juicy on the inside. Another favourite dish is the Jolly Spaghetti, a sweet style spaghetti with Jollibee’s signature sauce topped with hotdog pieces and grated cheese.

The new Liverpool restaurant is in a prime location on Whitechapel, within the city centre’s pedestrianised zone and is open 10am-10pm daily, with a seating capacity of 93 across two floors. The store officially opens its doors to the public on Thursday 3rd September at 10am.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The opening of the restaurant will create new job opportunities for just over 50 Liverpudlians, supporting the local economy and bringing a fun and unique dining experience to the people of the city.

Jollibee is a much-loved restaurant chain, founded in 1978 by Tony Tan Caktiong in the Philippines. Tony, the son of Chinese immigrants, built up his business from humble beginnings, opening a small ice cream franchise and expanding his offering to a selection of hot food. The hot food was a hit, and by 1985, Jollibee was the market leader in the Philippines’ fast food industry. The brand opened its first international restaurant in 1987 and by 1998, had 300 stores globally including its first store in the USA.

Jollibee now has over 1400 stores, 1,201 of which are in the Philippines and 274 in other markets across Asia, Europe, the US and more recently the UK. Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) also owns other brands including The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Smashburger, Chowking, Mang Inasal, Greenwich Pizza and Red Ribbon. The company also owns the franchise for Burger King Philippines.

The brand’s ambitious plans are to establish Jolli- bee as a household name in the UK. For Jollibee, the UK is clearly a key market for expansion – the British spend a whopping €1.2 billion on quick-ser- vice chicken per year (compared to €652 million in Germany and €700 million in France).

The brand has many accolades to its name, inclu- ding the “best international restaurant chain” by US-based food and lifestyle website, Thrillist , “one of the best fast food chains in the world” by New York-based magazine Travel + Leisure, and the “top 10 international fast food restaurants in the United States” by The Daily Meal.

Adam Parkinson, Market Head of Europe for Jollibee, said:

“It will be a great feeling for me as someone who grew up in North-West England to experience the people of Liverpool taking their first bite of Chickenjoy, Jollibee’s signature crispy chicken.

“The UK quick service market continues to grow from strength to strength. We know that people are living busy lives and they rely on the quick service industry for budget-friendly ways to eat high-quality products on the go. It is our job to ensure we can continue to evolve our products and business channels to fit the demands of this segment.

“Before joining Jollibee, I hadn’t come across a fast food company that was able to hold onto their family values while achieving their global dreams.”

Source: The Guide Liverpool

Jollibee set to open second UK restaurant in Liverpool

October 23, 2019

Filipino fast food chain Jollibee is pushing forward with its regional expansion plans with the opening of a second UK site in Liverpool.

Bee World UK Ltd, part of the Jollibee Foods Corporation, has submitted a planning application to open a quick service restaurant on Whitechapel in the city centre.

According to the documents, Jollibee’s Liverpool site would be the “flagship branch in the North of England”.

Jollibee opened its first UK restaurant in London’s Earl’s Court last year, with some diners reportedly queuing for 18 hours at the launch event.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Soon after, the brand announced plans to launch three further UK sites in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Jollibee is best known for its Chickenjoy fried chicken; Jolly Spaghetti, which is topped with chopped up hot dogs and tomato sauce; and a breakfast dish of corned beef with garlic rice and egg.

Speaking to BigHospitality ​last year, Jollibee president and head of international business Dennis Flores said he was confident the brand would appeal to UK locals as well as Filipinos.

“We’re very confident given our track record in Singapore and Hong Kong where over 50% of our customers are locals,” he said.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“The feedback that we got from London locals told us even more that we can and will be successful here.”

Founded in 1978, the Jollibee group operates 2,700 outlets across the Philippines, making it the largest fast food group in the country.

It also owns most of the US chain Smashburger, operates Vietnam’s Highlands Coffee and Pho 24 noodle chains, runs Dunkin’ Donuts in some territories of China, and the Burger King franchise in the Philippines.

By James McAllister

Source: Big Hospitality

The Jollibee story: how a Philippine fast food franchise took on the world

July 22, 2019

Philippine brand Jollibee has grown from two outlets in Manila in the 1970s to more than 1,300 restaurants in its home country and overseas

The chain adapts its menus for different cultures, but its Chickenjoy fried chicken is a favourite everywhere.

You only need to spend about 20 minutes in the Philippines to realise that Filipinos really love to eat.
The country has a dazzling profusion of dining outlets, in particular at the casual end of the market, but one brand is seen more than others. And it’s a brand that also seems to induce warm, fuzzy feelings in more or less everyone in the country: Jollibee.

The fast food company has 1,150 outlets in the Philippines, and a bigger share of the Philippine market than its two biggest competitors combined, as well as 234 overseas outlets in 15 territories. It is the 24th largest fast food chain globally (including coffee chains) by number of branches, and fifth among companies not from the United States.
It refers to itself in promotional posters displayed in its offices in the Manila business district Ortigas Centre as the largest Asian restaurant company in the world.

This food and beverage empire was born in 1975 – and at the time served only ice cream. It was the brainchild of company founder and chairman Tony Tan Caktiong (generally referred to by his staff as Sir Tony in a sign of respect), the third child of seven in an impoverished family who moved to the Philippines from Fujian province in China.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

His father opened a small Buddhist restaurant in the southern Philippine city of Davao when Tan was a child.
Tan himself studied for a degree in chemical engineering, but aged just 22, he was inspired by a trip to an ice cream plant to spend his family’s savings on the franchises for two Magnolia Dairy Ice Cream outlets, Cubao Ice Cream House in Quezon City, Metro Manila, and Quiapo Ice Cream House in central Manila.

People started asking for hot food, so he began providing hamburgers and sandwiches, and soon they were more popular than the ice cream. Neither of the original branches is still operating – but several of the original employees still work for the company.

The Jollibee name was introduced in 1978, first as Jolibe; it was changed to the current spelling so that it could be more easily associated with the words “jolly” and “bee” – and so that, thanks to the non-standard spelling, it could be easily trademarked.

“It compares the employees of the company to busy workers in a hive: hard working, industrious and providing the sweet things in life,” says Dennis Flores, president and head of international business, EMEAA, for parent company Jollibee Foods. “And Sir Tony thought it was not enough that the employees worked hard, but they should also be enjoying their work.”

In its early years Jollibee faced perhaps the biggest challenge in its corporate history: both McDonald’s and KFC entered the Philippine market in the early 1980s. Instead of having their usual effect of sweeping aside local competition, in Jollibee they found a competitor more attuned to the local market, and one with a particularly determined founder.

“As early as [owning] five stores, Sir Tony was already dreaming of being the best in the country and the world,” says Flores. “He was advised to sell the business and ride on the success of the multinationals. But he believed he had knowledge of the market and great-tasting products.”

The line-up of products that Jollibee is best known for today, all of them tailored to meet local tastes, were pretty much in place by the early ’80s. Its menu items include the Yumburger and the uniquely sweet Jolly Spaghetti, but the star of the show is the Chickenjoy fried chicken, introduced in 1980.

“Fried chicken is a very popular product in the Philippines,” says Flores. “Chickenjoy is delicately breaded to produce a crisp, delicious feel, and there’s a secret marinade.”

It’s also the key product in Jollibee’s international expansion, because most cultures tend to appreciate it. “Chickenjoy is our number one product – the bestseller in every market in the world. It appeals to a diverse set of customers and nationalities,” Flores says.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The company started offering franchise opportunities in 1979, had 10 stores by 1981 and became the local market leader in 1985. It really started moving from the late ’80s, however, doubling its sales between 1987 and 1989, and then again by 1991, and further tripling them by 1996.

It opened its 100th outlet in 1991, then reached 200 in 1996, 300 in 1998, 400 in 2001, 500 in 2004, 600 in 2007, 700 in 2010, 800 in 2013 and 1,000 in 2015. The company was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange in 1993, with its share price rising 135 per cent in the first three months.

It started to expand outside the Philippines in 1987, initially in Brunei, and then in a big way from 1995, when it moved into Guam, Dubai, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The US followed in 1998, and the likes of Qatar, Singapore, Bahrain, Italy and the UK more recently. Its fastest period of overseas expansion, though, has been the past three years.

The company has two different strategies when moving into or expanding in a particular country, because the customer mix varies quite widely from market to market. In the Middle East, for example, the clientele is overwhelmingly expat Filipinos; in Vietnam, by contrast, where the company has 118 outlets, more than half of its total outside the Philippines, it’s almost exclusively local.

In London and Milan local custom stands at about 20 per cent, but it’s rising fast. And these days it boasts a local customer base of more than 50 per cent in Hong Kong, where it has eight outlets.

Flores says the company regards Hong Kong as a particularly exciting market, and has ambitious expansion plans over the next five years.

Similarly, the level of localisation, both in the company’s operations and its menu, varies from country to country. “When we enter a market, we bring the products we’re famous for – the chicken, the spaghetti, the burger,” he says. “Over time, we bring in local products: in Vietnam we have chilli chicken, and in Brunei nasi lemak.”

Its strategy in China has been a little different from most other places, buying local brands rather than introducing its own. Jollibee bought its first overseas brand, Yonghe King in China, in 2004, and also owns chains Hong Zhuang Yuan and San Pin Wang. It has gone down the same route in the US, buying 40 per cent of local chain Smashburger in 2015 and fully acquiring it last year.

Jollibee started moving into other food sectors domestically in 1994 when it acquired Greenwich Pizza. It now also owns Chinese fast food chain Chowking, Red Ribbon Bakeshop and barbecue chain Mang Inasal. The company is also joint owner of Highlands Coffee, with more than 300 branches in the Philippines and Vietnam, and of Pho 24 in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Macau and South Korea.

The company started running TV ads as early as 1980, and in the same year it introduced what has become the focus of its marketing, its mascots – particularly the brand’s instantly recognisable bee character, which appears in life-size form in its stores. It was inspired, says Flores, by the popularity of Mickey Mouse.

“Tony was trying to think of something that would represent the Jollibee brand, and the benchmark at that time was Disney.”

Jollibee has been also involved in creating media content, with Jollitown, an animated children’s TV series starring the company’s mascots that began in 2008 and was the highest rated children’s programme in the Philippines while it ran.

Children’s education and health have been a focus of its charitable endeavours, along with the welfare and economic development of farmers, formalised since 2004 in the Jollibee Group Foundation.
There’s a distinct family feel to Jollibee the organisation. Flores himself has worked for the company for 19 years, and he says there are many similar stories.

“I feel very strongly that we have a unique culture: our values are putting the customer first, speed with excellence, humility, a spirit of generosity, and integrity. These are not just words in a document framed and hung on a wall; they’re values lived from the store teams to the senior management. There’s a synergy and unity of purpose among a diverse set of employees.”

It’s also a company that many customers hold very close to their hearts, tied up with memories of home and childhood.

Flores says the reaction when he tells people he works for Jollibee is priceless.
“It’s actually very heart warming to see the reactions of people when I tell them. When we opened in Saudi Arabia, it was like customers were home,” Flores says.

“Filipinos are all part of Jollibee; all through their lives they’ve been going to Jollibee, and they feel like they have an attachment. They give you suggestions on the menu, the service. Where there’s no store, people plead with us to open one. It’s heart warming to have Filipinos, our core customers, love the brand.”

By Richard Lord 

Source: SCMP

Jollibee, Asia’s biggest fast food chain, is coming to the UK

September 28, 2018

Asia’s largest fast-food chain, Jollibee Food Corporation, is set to open its first ever restaurant in the UK.

The move is the latest step in an aggressive expansion drive by the Philippine company, which already has more than 4000 restaurants worldwide.

Chief Executive Ernesto Tanmantiong said: “We aim to become one of the top five restaurant companies in the world.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

“Opening our first store in the United Kingdom brings us one step closer to realizing this vision.”

The new restaurant will be Jollibee’s second in Europe as, earlier this year, it opened a store in Milan, Italy.

Set to open on 20 October, the new store will be located in Earl’s Court Road, Earl’s Court, London. The location was selected, says Jollibee, because it is historically home to London’s biggest Filipino community.

Currently, 30% of Jollibee’s sales come from stores outside of the Philippines, including sales from both company-owned and franchise stores.

However, according to Nasdaq, the company’s founder Tony Tan Caktiong is hoping to grow that to 50% over the next five years.

Earlier this year, Jollibee took majority control of American burger firm Smashburger, signalling its intentions to further penetrate the North American market.

Related: Phillippines’ Jollibee plans to open 500 more stores worldwide as part of overseas drive

It also recently acquired 47% of Mexican restaurant concept Tortas Frontera and 100% of Titan Dining L.P, the master franchise holder of the Tim Ho Wan brand.

Source: FDF world

Jollibee teases London branch, first in UK

September 23, 2018

MANILA — Jollibee on Tuesday teased the opening of its first store in the United Kingdom, which will expand its footprint in Europe.

The country’s largest fast food operator posted on Twitter a photo of its mascot, with British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, with the hashtags #JollibeeLondon #1stJollibeeInUK.

Pruce professed his “love” for Jollibee’s signature fried chicken in an interview with ANC in October last year, adding the first store in the UK would open by this year.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Jollibee in March opened its first store in Europe, located in Milan, Italy.

Homegrown Jollibee has targeted mainly Filipino communities in the US, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

It also acquired upmarket brand Smashburger in the US and is planning a foray into the fast-growing Mexican food segment.

In May, it announced plans to acquire the master franchise of Tim Ho Wan in the Asia Pacific.

Source: ABS CBN news

Phillippines’ Jollibee plans to open 500 more stores worldwide as part of overseas drive

July 25, 2018

Philippine fast-food company, Jollibee Food Corporation, is set to embark on its one of its most aggressive store expansion programmes yet, with plans to open up to new 500 new stores this year, according to senior executives.

The Manilla-listed company said it will enter new markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, UK and UAE as it looks to expand its international operations.

It’s also keeping an eye out for potential mergers and acquisitions overseas.

Boasting annual sales of around $3.4bn, Jollibee also said in a that it was keen to add Mexican food to its US portfolio either through an acquisition or joint venture.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

The CEO of Jollibee, Ernesto Tanmantiong, said that a budget of $131mn has been set aside for the cost of the expansion plan, according to ABS CBN News.

In May, Jollibee had 4,239 stores across 21 territories and 12 brands. The Philippine firm’s portfolio includes Smashburger in the US, Highlands Coffee and Pho24 in Vietnam as well as Dunkin’ Donuts in some Chinese territories.

Jolibee’s plan to open 500 new stores in 2018 will represent the highest number of store openings in a single hear throughout its history.

“The launch of the new restaurants is driven by strong demand from customers, thereby bringing the brand closer, not only to the larger Filipino community present in the country, but also to several other nationalities, which we hope will now have the opportunity to experience a new culinary delight,” Jollibee UAE CEO, Hisham Al Gurg, told Gulf Business.

Related: Jollibee, Asia’s biggest fast food chain, is coming to the UK

“We remain dedicated to supporting the growth of the F&B sector, particularly the quick service restaurants segment in the country, with the launch of several additional restaurants over the coming years.”

“The business had shown resilience in the past and we expect it to continue to do so. We expect revenues and profit to continue to at least sustain its historical growth rates in 2018 and in the years ahead”, he added.

Source: FDF world