MANILA, Philippines—Jollibee Foods Corp., the country’s largest fast food company, said Friday that 72 stores across its brands in Metro Manila and nearby cities have been temporarily closed over the lack of popular menu items at its outlets.
Jollibee, in a stock exchange filing Friday, apologized as it sought to allay angry customers and calm worried investors.
It explained that there was no supply shortage and the disruption was related to the migration to a new IT system at the start of the month, adding that the issue would be resolved “in the next few days.”
The statement comes amid complaints and even ridicule on social media platforms.
Jollibee, which is also behind brand names Chowking, Greenwich, Mang Inasal and Red Ribbon, said the limited availability has nevertheless caused the temporary closure of 72 stores across its brands mainly in Metro Manila and nearby cities.
It said the figure represented 3.2 percent of its 2,244 nationwide network.
Jollibee said the disruption means it has not been able to serve 6 percent of its normal nationwide sales in the first seven days of August but it also reported that same store sales during the period
were still up 4 percent.
“The product limitation has been caused by the migration to new systems that started on August 1, 2014, which has resulted in temporary slowdown in sales order taking, product loading and dispatch of transportation,” Jollibee said in its statement.
It said the system, where the company invested at least P500 million for 2014, involves integrated store information systems with the main purpose of accelerating business growth in the country and abroad.
As for the products, which include its popular “Chicken Joy” meals, Jollibee said it has enough raw materials, finished products and production capacity to meet the consumer demand “for the entire month of August and for the months ahead.”
Because of the current slowdown, the products have been stored in Jollibee’s various commissaries, warehouses and logistics center.
“Jollibee Foods Corporation and its franchisee partners express their apology to their customers for the disappointment and inconvenience caused by not finding their favorite products in the stores or by seeing their nearby stores temporarily closed,” the company said in the statement.
“The organization is doing its best to restore the availability of all its products to normal levels in the next few days, to reopen temporarily closed stores and to restore its excellent service to its
customers,” it added.
Jollibee Foods Corporation operates the largest food service network in the Philippines. As of June 30, 2014, it was operating 2,244 restaurant outlets in the country: Jollibee brand 839, Chowking 406, Greenwich 207, Red Ribbon 298, Mang Inasal 456 and Burger King 38.
Abroad, it was operating 589 stores: Yonghe King (China) 311, Hong Zhuang Yuan (China) 43, San Pin Wang (China) 44, Jollibee 111 (US 30, Vietnam 49, Brunei 12, Saudi Arabia 10, Qatar 4, Kuwait 3, Hong Kong 1 and Singapore 2), Red Ribbon in the US 31, Chowking 46 (US 19, UAE 20, Qatar 5 and Oman 2), Jinja Bar (US) 3. The JFC Group had a total of 2,833 stores worldwide.
JFC also has a 50 percent interest in joint ventures for the following stores: Highlands Coffee (Vietnam, Philippines) 78, Pho 24 (Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, HongKong, Macau and Cambodia) 57, and 12 Sabu (China) 12.
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