(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 18th Oct 2018) London, Uk – –
A multibillion-dollar Asian rival to KFC will make its first foray into the UK on Thursday, opening in London’s Earl’s Court.
Jollibee, which offers single plates combining fried chicken, tomato spaghetti, beef with gravy and rice, has plans for rapid expansion across Europe.
Global chief executive Ernesto Tanmantiong told The Daily Telegraph that Jollibee is targeting 25 stores in Britain and 50 across Europe over the next five years.
Jollibee Foods Corporation is a $5.2bn market cap company headquartered in Manila. It operates 14 brands across 4,300 outlets worldwide. It is the sixth biggest food service company in the US by virtue of its controlling stake in the Smashburger chain. In September last year it was reportedly teeing up a $1bn approach for Pret a Manger.
The company’s flagship brand is Jollibee itself, which boasts 1,200 stores and whose eclectic menu has been particularly successful in Vietnam and China.
Mr Tanmantiong explained he started out “with two ice cream parlours in 1975”.
“We see that the UK has a very big fried chicken market,” he said, adding that he expects the company’s trademark Chickenjoy to quickly gain popularity.
Mr Tanmantiong said when Jollibee Foods Corporation launches in a new country ex-pat Filipinos dominate the customer base initially.
However, he insisted that more than half of customers in countries outside of the Philippines are now “locals”.
Considered a national treasure in the Philippines, fans in the US have reportedly waited for hours when new stores have opened. The first Manhattan store was opened earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the Jollibee boss shrugged off growing concerns over healthy eating. “We are looking into that as well,” he said. “But customers come to Jollibee for the Chickenjoy.”
By Oliver Gill