It's no surprise that Jollibee, the famous Filipino restaurant chain, has been receiving international praise. It is the only non-US company in the top 15, and one of only three that are not from the United States. The chain plans an “aggressive expansion in the United States in the coming years”, according to Maribeth Dela Cruz, Vice President of Jollibee Food Corporation North America. It all started in 1978 when Tony Tan Caktiong opened Jollibee in Quezon City, Philippines.
This changed the fast-food landscape of the country and captured the hearts and taste buds of generations. Justin Callan from Coney Island, New York said that he has always felt welcome in Jollibee, even as a non-Filipino. The reception in Manhattan, where there isn't a large Filipino population, has been encouraging according to Minana. Chef Charles Olalia from Los Angeles restaurant Ma'am Sir holds Jollibee close to his heart.
He serves classic Filipino dishes such as kare kare and sizzling sisig. Today, Jollibee has more than 1000 locations around the world, with dozens spread across the United States and plans to expand to triple digits in the next 5 years. The pandemic has not stopped Jollibee from pushing forward with their global brand acquisition strategy. This is pushing them away from their fast-food roots and into new markets.
Singer and DJ Sosupersam (real name Samantha Dueñas) is one of Jollibee's biggest fans. She feels that she can assemble both her identities with Jollibee. It's no wonder that Jollibee has amassed a cult following in the Philippines and beyond, and continues to acquire new fans with its richly Filipino dishes and community-driven heart. The newcomer is Jollibee, a fast-food chain that some call McDonald's from the Philippines.