Filipinos can now enjoy Jolly Spaghetti and Chickenjoy in the Big Apple because Jollibee is opening up their flagship store right in the heart of Times Square.
The 7,000-square foot space is expected to be located on 1500 Broadway, between West 43rd and West 44th street. Jollibee’s 10-year lease allocated 3,000 square feet to the ground floor level and another 4,000 square feet for the lower level.
While there are two other Jollibee stores in Manhattan and Queens dedicated to providing a home away from home for many Filipinos in the city, the one in Times Square will undoubtedly be the largest.
The decision to open a flagship store comes hot on the heels of the famous fast food chain’s massive losses in 2020 (around 11.5 billion pesos), the first annual loss in three decades. Despite this, the beloved Jollibee is going for a strategic global expansion.
JFC CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong stated that the group plans to open 450 new stores in North America, Southeast Asia, and China. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tanmantiong noted that “there are opportunities in the pandemic” and that they are “constantly assessing” these opportunities.
As one of Asia’s largest fast food chains, Jollibee still hopes to become one of the world’s top five restaurant operators.
Currently, Jollibee has footholds in 1,300 stores across the world, with 37 of them in the US. Stores that house the big red bee can be found in states like California, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, and Florida among others.
“We are now in expansion mode in preparation for the full recovery from the pandemic, and this will continue in the next few years,” said Tanmantiong. “We are investing more in foreign markets, especially in markets where they have recovered fast from the pandemic.”
For now, Filipinos abroad can rest assured that the flagship store will bring all the joy and warmth of the Philippines.
New Yorkers should watch out for its opening sometime at the end of this year.