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JFC (Philippines) Targets 50 Stores in Europe in Next 5 Years

16 Sep 2020 - Homegrown food chain Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has opened its first store in Liverpool in the United Kingdom, with the company eyeing 50 restaurants in Europe in the next five years.

Opened on September 3, the Liverpool store is only the second branch of the food chain in the UK following the one in Earl's Court in London, and the third store in Europe.

Jollibee Liverpool's first customer, the company reported, was a blogger who lined up as early as 2:00 a.m. on the opening day.

"Our Liverpool opening has shown that Jollibee has a great potential to appeal to the local customers in the European market, and not only to Filipinos," said Dennis Flores, JFC president for Europe, Midle East, Asia, and Australia (EMEAA).

According to Flores, 40% of the customers during the opening week were new to the brand, which increased to 50% the following week, showing positive reaction to Jollibee.

Moving forward, Flores hinted on the possibility of opening more in the United Kingdom and Europe in general, banking on the British market which spends some €1.2 billion on quick-service chicken annually.

"Our efforts to reframe the brand in Europe by adapting the store design and communication assets to align better with the local target audience are showing results as seen in the great reception by the locals in Liverpool," he said.

"We will reach out to them further by opening even more stores in mainstream locations such as Leicester," he added.

Jollibee Group chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said the next Jollibee store in Leicester before the end of 2020, with over 50 restaurants on track to be opened in the next three to five years.

"Our customer base around the world continues to grow as we tap local consumers within each market - expanding it from Filipinos living abroad to a wide, more mainstream market," he said.

"The Liverpool store is showing how Jollibee is appealing to local communities and not just for Filipinos, and we are grateful for their warm welcome and the love they are showing for our food," he added.

Jollibee's Liverpool location currently offers exclusive menu items such as Asian Slaw, Tropical Burger, Mango Coconut Sunday, and the Asian Chicken Tender Rice Bowl.

Jollibee in August also opened its West Plano store, the first in the Greater Dallas and North Texas area, marking the 45th store in the United States.

The company currently has over 270 international branches including the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

JFC has eight wholly-owned brands which include Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, and Smashburger.

Aside from these, it has three franchise brands -- Burger King and Panda Express in the Philippines and Dunkin' Donuts in certain territories in China.

It also holds 80% ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee and PHO24 brands.