Jollibee going to Indonesia, Canada

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 07 2013 07:33 AM | Updated as of Oct 08 2013 04:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is expanding into new territories including Indonesia next year and Canada in 2015, catering to both the local population and Filipinos overseas.

Tapping new markets is in line with the company’s goal of becoming Asia’s largest homegrown quick service restaurant chain, an executive said.

“We just opened in Houston, Texas. Our next target is to open in Chicago and near future Toronto, Canada. It will be our first in Canada,” JFC chief operating officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in an interview.

Closer to home, Indonesia is in the radar for an expansion program early next year, Tanmantiong said.

Late last month, Philippines’ largest fastfood chain posted an opening day record in its Houston branch. More than 5,000 Filipinos flocked to the first JFC branch in southern US, more than a thousand compared with the opening day record of Jollibee Hawaii.

Tanmantiong hopes the company, famous for its signature Chickenjoy and Yum Burger, will continue breaking records in its overseas store openings.

“We’re focusing where the Filipinos are. They are craving for Jollibee (because) it’s a taste of home,” Tanmantiong said, adding that Jollibee Chicago will open next year while Jollibee Toronto will start operations in 2015.

In Asia, the fastfood giant is targeting to create a presence in Indonesia early next year.

“Indonesia hopefully (we can open) next year. What we plan to do in Indonesia is to find a joint venture partner,” Tanmantiong said.

“For Indonesia, it’s a fried chicken country so we believe the chicken joy will fit very well in Indonesia,” Tanmantiong said. JFC is developing spicy sauce sambal to cater to the Indonesia taste.

JFC is looking at suppliers for food production in Indonesia but the company is also ready to invest in a commissary in the emerging market, Tanmantiong said.

The expansion program signals the continuation of JFC’s corporate strategy of going after Filipinos overseas while also looking at the locals in host countries.

Tanmantiong will become the fastfood chain’s CEO effective July 2014 while current CEO Tony Tan Caktiong will remain as the chairman of the board.