Jollibee’s Big Appetite (Nikkei Asian Review)

Where there are communities of Filipinos, there are often Jollibee restaurants. The fast-food chain — known for its iconic bee mascot and signature dish of fried chicken and spaghetti — has 199 outlets overseas. This is in addition to nearly 1,100 branches in its home market.

Nikkei Asian Review Manila staff writer recently spent a month in the U.S., where he had a chance to visit a Jollibee outlet in Los Angeles. There he met numerous Filipinos and heard stories of their love of the “soul food” they grew up on. But while Jollibee is a hit with the 3 million Filipinos living in the U.S., the challenge for the company is to reach a broader customer base. Doing so will be key for Jollibee founder and Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong to realize his dream: to join the ranks of global fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Yum Brands.

In this issue of the Nikkei Asian Review, we focus on how Jollibee Foods, one of the biggest fast-food empires in Asia, is aiming to do just that. This year Jollibee raised its stake in Colorado-based Smashburger to 85% from 40%. The company has also expanded beyond hamburgers, with cafe and noodle chains in Vietnam and Chinese restaurants in China. Join our writer as he follows the company’s bid for fast-food dominance, and be sure to check out his profile of Jollibee’s globetrotting founder.

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