MANILA - Filipinos braved sub-zero temperatures for a taste of home as Jollibee Foods Corp. opened its first store in Canada, the company said Friday.
The Philippines' largest fast food operator is opening 150 overseas stores overseas from this year to 2017, bringing local favorites such as Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti to Filipino communities.
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Customers at the Winnipeg branch, wrapped up in winter coats lined up as early as 7 a.m., waiting for their turn to order.
"No freezing weather can stop our best friend Jollibee from bringing the JOY to Winnipeg, Canada," the company said in its official Twitter account.
Jollibee Group President for North America and Foreign Franchise Brands Jose Miñana said in a statement: “It brings us great joy that we are able to bring a taste of home to Filipinos and a new culinary experience to Canadians.”
The company mascot, Jollibee, wearing a light blue scarf, welcomed customers to the restaurant.
Jollibee, founded by tycoon Tony Tan Caktiong, boasts of being one of the few brands to have beaten American burger giant Mc Donald's.
Curious locals also tried Jollibee. A Virgin Radio host described Chickenjoy as "so good," with gravy that is like a "warm hug."
Another host was intrigued by the sweet flavor of Jolly Spaghetti which was topped with hotdogs, a uniquely Filipino twist on the Italian favorite.