Jollibee's Burgers Are Now the Philippines' Hottest Export

Now On Both U.S. Coasts, the Filipino Chain is Making Its Move

By Published on .

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When Jollibee, the global Filipino fast-food chain serving burgers, fried chicken, pasta and other Filipino dishes, opened in Queens, New York, the lines were not only out the door on Roosevelt Avenue, they went around the block. By afternoon, the line circled around another. The next day, Sunday, yellow caution tapes were strung up around the restaurant to keep the crowd in place.

The Champ is chomping the East Coast after taking the West Coast by storm. Already, there are two dozen Jollibee stores across San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and other California cities. Jollibee's best seller is the Champ, a succulent beefy burger that's distinctly Filipino that will surely delight burger-crazy Americans as it has conquered burger lovers all over the world.

But Jollibee is more than just burgers. Chicken Joy will make a run for the Colonel's chicken. And a tangy-sweet spaghetti, Philippine-version, will even make Italians swear by it. Oh, yes, Jollibee will sing "Bye, bye, Miss American pie." Reason: Its Peach Mango Pie will surely win your hearts.

Jollibee is one of the Philippines' biggest advertisers on national TV, having dominated the fast-food market and outdistancing McDonald's in terms of number of stores across the 7,100 island archipelago for many years.

Here's the latest spot, now the air in the Philippines, from Publicis Groupe's Jimenez-Basic:

Here's an older clip, the Jollibee dance:

Jollibee has endeared itself to more than 87 million Filipinos by creating an image of a warm, friendly, family-bonding place through "At Home, Ka Dito" ("You Are Home, Here") campaign. Its previous campaign was "Langhap-Sarap" (Smells Delicious) and currently uses award-winning actor and Filipino matinee idol Aga Muhlach as its spokesman.

Forbes Asia Magazine recognized Jollibee in 2005 as one of the 200 best under a billion-dollar companies in Asia out of 11,000 Asian public companies. London-based financial magazine Euromoney awarded it as "Best at Consumer Goods" in its 10th annual poll of Asia's Best Managed Companies.

Today, the once family-owned ice cream parlor has become one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world with 1,655 stores worldwide. As of March 2008, Jollibee has 1,466 stores in the Philippines and 228 foreign stores located in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hongkong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, China, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

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