Jollibee President Discusses Canadian Store Expansion: Interview

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International fast-food brand, Jollibee, famous for its ‘Jolly Crispy Chicken’ fried chicken, continues to expand its footprint in the Canadian market.

Recently, it opened a new location in Edmonton, its fourth in the city and seventh in Alberta, as well as launching the brand in its first BC location in Vancouver.

Maribeth Dela Cruz

Maribeth Dela Cruz, President for Jollibee in North America, said the brand now has 24 locations in Canada with more to come. The brand has 80 stores in North America.

“We have an overarching goal of eventually getting to 500 stores in North America by 2028 and Canada is going to be a big part of that expansion for our North American growth,” she said.

“We see a lot of potential for Canada. We’re very excited with the kind of reception that we have been getting as we open more stores across the country.”

The Vancouver location is on Granville Street, in the heart of the city’s downtown. The Edmonton location is at The Grove on 17 retail complex in southeast Edmonton.

Jollibee in Winnipeg (Image: Jollibee)

The first Canadian Jollibee was established in 2016 in Winnipeg. The brand is in five provinces – Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC.

Dela Cruz said the strategy to reach 500 locations in North America is a “big goal for us to achieve in the next seven years.”

She said the Canadian market is appealing because of its diversity.

“It’s really reaching out to more consumers. We know that taste is universal and has no boundaries. It actually cuts across ethnicity and even different cultures. Canada I think is really a great place to be at because of the diversity of the country,” added Dela Cruz. “We’ve had very successful openings across the country which shows the readiness of the market to welcome new tastes and new food experiences. 

The line of fans extended across three blocks excitedly waiting to be among the first to visit Jollibee’s first location on new Granville Street store in Downtown Vancouver, which officially opened its doors on Friday, February 25. (Photo credit: Jollibee)

“Jollibee talks about spreading the joy of eating and we’d like to be part of spreading the joy of eating to Canadians.”

Jollibee opened its first Edmonton location in 2019 at 3803 Calgary Trail NW. The brand then opened two more locations in the city, including: Jollibee-West Edmonton (17136 90th Avenue, Edmonton), and Jollibee-Edmonton Kingsway Mall (1 Kingsway Garden Mall Northwest).

“We’ve seen an amazing response to our three existing locations in the city of Edmonton and we have been long awaiting to expand our footprint in Alberta,” said Dela Cruz.

The newest Edmonton location is at 881 Tamarack Way NW.

The brand calls its Jolly Crispy Chicken the “holy grail menu item” – 

“bone-in fried chicken that is audibly crispy on the outside while remaining juicy and tender on the inside every single time. We suggest dipping every bite in a side of Jollibee’s silky, savory gravy.”

Jollibee has more than 1,500 restaurants established worldwide.

Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC, also known as Jollibee Group) is one of the fastest-growing restaurant companies in the world. It operates in 34 countries, with over 5,800 stores globally with branches in the Philippines, United States, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Panama, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and India.

First-of- its kind Jollibee mobile kitchen rolls out in Ontario, Canada. The Jollibee mobile kitchen measures 15 meters long and was developed in collaboration with DoorDash, an online food ordering platform.

Jollibee Group has eight wholly-owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger); six franchised brands (Burger King, Panda Express, PHO24, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines; Dunkin’ and Tim Ho Wan in certain territories in China); 80 per cent ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf; and 60 per cent ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee and PHO24.

Jollibee Group, through its subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) owns 90 per cent participating interest in Titan Dining LP, a private equity fund that ultimately owns the Tim Ho Wan brand. It also has a joint venture with the THW Group to open and operate THW restaurants in Mainland China. Jollibee Group also has a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless for Tortazo, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States. Recently, the Jollibee Group announced that it will acquire 51 per cent ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand.

Jollibee Group was named the Philippines’ most admired company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for 10 years. It was also honored as one of Asia’s Fab 50 Companies and among the World’s Best Employers and World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes. In 2020, Gallup awarded the Jollibee Group with the Exceptional Workplace Award, making it the first Philippine-based company to receive the distinction.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Jollibee has a competitive advantage in that it can cater to the quickly changing tastes of locals. Furthermore, they are always happy to be a family business and a national brand chain. Jollibee is extremely popular and profitable in the Philippines. Their efforts to acquire overseas markets, on the other hand, have met with limited success.

  2. Customers’ tastes are constantly evolving, and Jollibee has a distinct advantage over its competitors because of this. As a family business and a national brand chain, they are always pleased.

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