Long lines at a Jollibee branch in Canada. The fast-food giant is planning to open 100 stores there in the next five years
The Philippines’ famous bee is set to swarm the land of maple trees.
Homegrown fast-food chain Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is planning to open 100 stores in Canada in the next five years, the Canadian press reported on Tuesday, June 12.
In a televised report, Canadian broadcaster CityNews said JFC, the operating firm behind the burger fast food chain, is looking at opening stores in Ontario, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. There are currently only three Jollibee branches in Canada.
“There’s a large number of Filipinos here who have known the brand for so many years,” JFC CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong said in the televised report. “Our next store is in Mississauga. That will be our fourth store in Canada. We’re planning to open 100 stores in the next five years.”
JFC opened its first branch in Canada in the city of Winnipeg, a two-and-a-half hour flight from the country’s capital, Ottawa, in 2016, attracting thousands who camped out two days before it opened, according to CityNews. In April 2018, the company opened its third branch in the country in Toronto, which was met with similar fanfare.
Jollibee is also planning to expand to other countries within the year, including the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Indonesia
The warm reception is unsurprising considering that Canada is home to around 880,000 Filipinos, the fourth largest minority group in the country as of 2017, according to the local government. This makes Canada a prime location for JFC’s international expansion.
As of December 2017, there are already 198 Jollibee stores outside the Philippines. The company has been aggressively expanding in the last six years as it aims to be a global fast-food chain brand.
For 2018, the company is spending more than half of its Php12-billion capital expenditure to open new stores and renovate existing ones both in the Philippines and abroad. A report by the Philippine Star in April said the company is eyeing to enter the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Indonesia this year.
JFC has six other food brands in its portfolio in the Philippines: Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Burger King and Highlands Coffee. Elsewhere, it operates a wide-array of brands including Yonghe King and Dunkin Donuts in China, Pho 24 in Vietnam and Indonesia and Hard Rock Café in Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz