Filipino restaurant chain Jollibee set for £30m UK expansion

11 March 2021 by
Filipino restaurant chain Jollibee set for £30m UK expansion

Filipino fast food chain Jollibee is investing over £50m in its European expansion with a flagship restaurant due to open in London's West End this year.

The group has taken the former Bella Italia site in Leicester Square and plans to launch a further seven sites in locations including Edinburgh and Cardiff by 2022.

Around £30m will be invested in the UK and £20m in wider European growth, with plans to open 20 stores by 2025, creating over 2,000 jobs.

Jollibee was founded by Tony Tan Caktiong in the Philippines in 1978 and now has 1,466 locations around the world. It is known for its fried chicken and sweet spaghetti served with hotdog slices and melted cheese.

The group opened its first UK restaurant in London's Earl's Court in 2018 and expanded to Liverpool and Leicester in 2020.

During the pandemic the company has adapted its store design to include external pick-up areas and contactless kiosks, which will be in place at the Leicester Square restaurant.

"Jollibee is dedicated to growing the brand here in the UK and across Europe," said Dennis Flores, president, regional business head Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia at Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC).

"Investing £50m proves our commitment to become a major player in the quick service industry here. The pandemic may have been a setback, but it will not deter us from pursuing our vision for Jollibee in the UK and the rest of Europe."

Jollibee plans to open its first restaurant in Spain, in Madrid, later this year.

JFC also owns brands including Smashburger and the franchise for Burger King Philippines.

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