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Jollibee withstands pandemic in most aggressive push yet in North America

/ 04:20 AM December 05, 2020

Upbeat on a global rebound from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, homegrown fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. is embarking on its most aggressive expansion program ever for its flagship brand in North America this 2021.

Jollibee announced on Friday the opening of 28 new stores in its North American network, 19 in the United States and nine in Canada, in the coming new year. This will be the largest addition to its North American store network in the company’s history, topping what was already a record year for expansion in this huge overseas market this year.

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Although the pandemic has bludgeoned the restaurant industry, Jollibee has kept most of its branches operational by focusing on off-premise channels apart from dine-in services.

The brand encouraged its customers to consume its products in the comfort and safety of their own homes via call ahead pickup, takeout and drive-through options. Last April, Jollibee also launched its nationwide delivery service via DoorDash.

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“We have remained nimble and optimistic, which has led Jollibee to defy expectations amidst an extremely difficult year and experience double-digit sales growth across North America,” said Maribeth dela Cruz, president of Jollibee Group North America for Philippine brands.

“Make no mistake though, we would not be weathering these hard times without the support of our customers. They’ve showed up for us and now we want to show up for them. This month we will be opening long-awaited stores across Texas, California, and Ontario, Canada. We’re incredibly grateful for the continued support we’ve received from across these regions and are thrilled to deliver a small spark of joy as we enter the holiday season.”

Amid the pandemic, Jollibee opened 12 new stores across North America. Before the year’s end, Jollibee is set to open five new stores, including one in San Antonio, Texas, and another in San Diego, California, in the United States. Another outlet will open along the historic Yonge Street in Toronto, Canada.

Jollibee’s third store in the Houston area will likewise open along Westheimer Road while the first store in Delano, California, will also soon open. In total, these December openings will bring Jollibee’s count to 17 new stores this year.

Jollibee was scheduled to open on Friday its 21st store in California at 8436 Mira Mesa Boulevard in San Diego. The new location marks the brand’s return to Mira Mesa and a concerted effort to build up its store network in the San Diego area, which is home to a sizable Filipino community. The new store is situated in the area’s biggest retail hub near Mira Mesa Mall. It is also close to the University of California San Diego, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Scripps Memorial Hospital.

To provide a safe environment for customers and store team members, the dining rooms of all of these stores will remain closed until further notice. However, each store will offer a mix of alternative channels for receiving food, including call ahead and pickup, takeout, drive-through and delivery services.

Jollibee is the largest fast food chain brand in the Philippines with a local network of more than 1,400 stores. Overseas, the brand has more than 240 international branches.

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