Jollibee to open first store in Spain–exec

Local fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. on Wednesday said it will soon open its flagship store in Spain, choosing Madrid—the country’s capital and most populous city—as its first location.

The store will open later this year as part of its 50-store expansion plan across Europe.

“Opening Jollibee stores in Spain is a milestone that forms part of our vision of becoming among the top five restaurant companies in the world and part of our commitment to grow in Europe. The fried chicken segment is underrepresented in Spain’s restaurant segment compared to other markets, so we are very excited to introduce the Chickenjoy we are known and loved for around the world to the people of Spain,” Ernesto Tanmantiong, the company’s president and CEO, said.

“Entering Spain is a key part of our accelerated expansion plan in Europe. The way that local mainstream consumers patronize Jollibee in the UK [United Kingdom] and in other parts of the world such as the US [United States], UAE [United Arab Emirates], Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong shows the universal appeal of Chickenjoy and our other bestsellers, and we are excited to replicate this success in Spain as well,” Dennis Flores, president of Jollibee Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

The company said it intends to continue its success in expanding its customer base beyond Filipinos in Spain just as it did in the UK, in which 75 percent of its customers in its latest stores are now the mainstream British.

Jollibee’s first restaurant in Spain will feature its bestsellers such as its fried chicken, sweet spaghetti and the chicken burger.

“Our future customers in Spain are looking to return to their normal social lives. And restaurants play a key role in that. As we grow, we are simultaneously investing in technology while ensuring we never lose the friendly customer service that Jollibee is known for. Ultimately, we are committed to create a great place for our customers to spend time with friends and family,” said Adam Parkinson, business head for Jollibee Europe.

With changing customer habits brought about by the pandemic, Jollibee said it will implement several changes at its Madrid restaurant, including the designation of outdoor seating areas, external pick-up areas for take-away food, and setting up digital kiosks for easier transactions and hand-wash stations. The store will also have spaces where customers can gather, creating a community feel that is “warm and welcoming for all who walk through the door.”

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