MANILA, Philippines - Jollibee Food Corp. (JFC) on Friday said 72 stores were temporarily closed because of the delivery problems it has been experiencing since the start of August.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Jollibee said most of the stores, which also include Chowking, Mang Inasal and other brands, are located in and around Metro Manila.
"The limited availability of products has caused the temporary closure of 72 stores of various JFC brands, representing 3.2 percent of its store network nationwide of 2,244 and the reduction in the menu of many stores," the company said.
The company said the delivery problem reduced sales in the first week of the month by about 6 percent.
JFC reiterated the problem was not caused by supply issues, saying it has sufficient raw materials, finished products and production capacity to meet consumer demand for the rest of the year.
The problem, JFC said, arose when the company switched to a new IT system.
"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," it said.
The company spent at least P500 million on the new enterprise platform for 2014, the largest investment it has made in IT.
"The purpose of this major investment is to prepare JFC for an accelerated business growth in the Philippines and abroad as it pursues its goal to become the largest Asian restaurant company and one of the most successful restaurant companies in the world," it said.
At the same time, JFC assured its customers it is fixing the problem and plans to reopen stores in the next few days.
"JFC and its business partners look forward to the restoration of sales growth to higher levels for the remaining weeks of August and the continued strong growth of the Jollibee Group's business for the entire year of 2014," it said.
On Thursday, some netizens created the hashtag #ChickenSad on Twitter, after they were unable to buy their favorite Jollibee items in some stories.
JFC is the food service network in the Philippines, operating 2,244 restaurant outlets in the country and 589 stores overseas.