Jollibee goes Modern TropicalBy Theresa S. Samaniego
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s a fresh, new start for homegrown brand Jollibee.
Starting last year, some of the Jollibee stores in Metro Manila have begun sporting a modern, sleek design which was supposed to provide dining customers with a more “relaxing and homey ambience.”
Jollibee vice president for real estate William Tan Untiong explains that these renovations were part of the company’s efforts to raise the bar in fast-food dining, without veering away from that familiar, homey feel that Filipinos across generations have come to love about Jollibee.
Like a typical Filipino home that goes through various stages of renovations and refurbishment to keep up with the changing times, the country’s No. 1 “quick service restaurant” (QSR) isn’t, of course, going to be left behind.
“We want our customers to always feel at home and we believe that the new store design will help us achieve that goal. The new store look shall serve as a reminder of fun and family done the Filipino way. In every store that they visit customers will be reminded of the warmth of being home,” Tan Untiong explains.
“We want our stores to align well with the brand image of Jollibee which is fun, family and Filipino. We really wanted to create a design that resonates with the brand that is why we went back to our roots—the nipa hut—but set in the modern days and we refer to this as ModTro or Modern Tropical,” he further says.
For instance, a Jollibee branch in Amang Rodriguez, corner Marcos Highway in Pasig City, now features warm earth tones and is artfully punctuated by large windows with red lines, thus providing a smooth flow. This store, which opened only last year, also has an al fresco dining area that’s accentuated by bamboo trees for a more Zen-like atmosphere.
Customers of this branch are greeted by a high ceiling that is further emphasized with natural lighting made possible through the big windows installed in the store.
The store’s interiors are further enhanced by the furniture used by its designers such as the plush seats that come in red, purple and pewter shades—all cozy enough to serve as a nook for groups of friends who want to lounge around and just bond. The tables’ neutral earth tones also give the store a classy and grounded appeal.
Meanwhile, the store’s counter has been made out of a solid-white block with small mosaics of red and yellow as base.
According to Tan Untiong, Jollibee’s new look was first introduced in 2012 and so far, a total of 28 outlets have already been redesigned and given that “modern tropical vibe.” For this year, the company is targeting to redesign a total of 100 stores.
Currently, Jollibee has a total of 765 stores in the Philippines, 39 in Vietnam, 13 in Brunei, 27 in the United States, 8 in Jeddah, three in Qatar and one each in Hong Kong, Kuwait and Singapore.
“We can’t say for sure if we will apply this design to all our stores but we are continuously looking for ways to improve the overall look and feel of our stores to ensure that our customers will continue to have the best dining experience. Who knows, we might even come up with an even better concept one that is consistent with our thrust to be the leader when it comes to store design,” Tan Untiong discloses.
It is not only the store’s facade, however, that is getting a facelift.
According to Tan Untiong, all kitchens at Jollibee stores are also undergoing a major transformation.
“A major breakthrough has also taken place at the back of the house. The new kitchen aims to provide high-quality and great tasting, every day delicious food that is synonymous to the Jollibee brand,” he notes, without disclosing much details.
The bottomline to these changes is that they are all geared towards keeping the Jollibee brand at the top spot in the local quick service restaurant (QSR) league. This, Tan Untiong is ensuring, by making that all stores are strategically located in areas that are suitable, convenient and accessible to customers.
As vice president for real estate, he also helps plan and design the stores to ensure that it will suit and cater to the needs and whims of diners.
“All the major QSR brands in the country originated from the United States and its stores carried on its western appearance and this is precisely the reason why we are delivering this new look in our stores, one that is built on the brand’s Filipino heritage and goal to become the pride of the Filipinos,” Tan Untiong explains.
As the brand celebrates its 35 years in the food industry, Jollibee isn’t about to slow down anytime soon as the brand continues to gear up for further store expansions and renovations.
“As a way of thanking customers for their unwavering support and patronage, we will make sure that each store will be conveniently located and we pledge to continuously bring the warmth of Jollibee to all Filipinos in different parts of the world,” he concludes.