Jollibee’s rapid global expansion continues, opens at American Dream Mall in New Jersey

Filipino fast-food giant Jollibee is now at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ. It is the fourth outpost of the restaurant in the Garden State.
AJPress photo by Momar G. Visaya

Two stores set to open in Scotland this month

JOLLIBEE has officially opened its fourth outlet in New Jersey at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford.

The fast-food giant’s 77th store in North America is located in the second largest mall in the United States today, right next to the MetLife Stadium off the New Jersey Turnpike.

“People waited long for American Dream to open and now we’re here. The mall has plenty to offer aside from the retail stores, it also has theme parks and a lot of dining options, including Jollibee,” said Merle Caleon, Jollibee’s area director.

The 38,000 square-foot food hall in the billion-dollar mall offers visitors a wide array of restaurants and global food from diverse food vendors. The 3.5-million-square-foot mega mall opened its entertainment complex in October 2019.

Jollibee’s opening comes on the heel of recent news that the Filipino fast-food giant is planning to open a store near Grand Central on 42nd Street.

According to Commercial Observer, the new outpost will be at 14 East 42nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison, and a stone’s throw from the New York City Public Library and Bryant Park. It is half the size of the flagship at 1500 Broadway, which boasts of a 7,127 square-foot area.

Reports say that Grand Central will open late next year. The Times Square flagship on the other hand is expected to open this year, along with another one in Jamaica, Queens.

“As Jollibee works to establish 500 stores across North America within the next five to seven years, increasing our presence throughout New York City represents a critical component of our U.S. expansion goals,” Maribeth Dela Cruz, business group head of Honeybee Foods Corporation, which operates Jollibee’s U.S. operations, said in a statement. “The proximity of this space to Grand Central Terminal offers an incredible opportunity to grow brand awareness among a much broader and diverse audience.”

“We really want to capture the mainstream market right now. That has always been our mission, not only to reach Filipinos but to cross over,” Caleon added.

There are also plans to open in Philadelphia and Alexandria, according to Caleon. The new stores are part of the brand’s plans to grow to 150 stores in the U.S. by 2023.

Merle Caleon, area director of Jollibee says the company’s rapid expansion includes opening branches in Philadelphia and Alexandria aside from the flagship Times Square store and the branches soon to open near Grand Central and Jamaica in Queens.
AJPress photo by Momar G. Visaya

European expansion

Jollibee also announced on Wednesday, Feb. 16 the opening dates of its much-anticipated first locations in Scotland. On February 24, Jollibee will open its doors in the capital’s city center at 136 Princes Street, Edinburgh, marking its entry into Scotland. The brand will quickly open its second Scottish store in Glasgow on March 25. The two restaurants in Scotland will serve halal meat to cater to all communities in both cities.

“This is an important moment for us as we introduce Jollibee to Scotland with not only 1 but 2 restaurants launching within a month, showing our commitment to expand in Europe,” said Ernesto Tanmantiong, CEO of Jollibee Group. “We are looking forward to serving our Scottish customers delicious food in a joyful restaurant experience.”

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have a large student presence and active youth community, making them the perfect cities for Jollibee, which has seen huge success among young people looking for new food experiences.

In the last 18 months, overall UK sales rose by 417%, with the Jollibee Chicken Sandwich and new Spicy Chickenjoy receiving rave reviews.

The first Jollibee in the UK opened in London in 2018 and has since added another eight locations to the map including Cardiff, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, and Leicester Square in London’s West End.

Across its UK restaurants, Jollibee has served up an incredible 1.3 million pieces of Chickenjoy since January 2021.

“The reception for Jollibee in 2021 gave us confidence that our new store design and locally-relevant menu created specifically for our European audience was working,” said Dennis Flores, President of Jollibee Europe, Middle East,  Asia, and Australia.

The unveiling of Jollibee’s first Scottish location coincides with the announcement last month that further COVID restrictions would be lifted across Scotland.

“Most people have not been able to try new things in the last few years, so bringing the fun, joyful, and colorful Jollibee restaurant to customers will be a great start to 2022,” said Adam Parkinson, Business Head of Jollibee Europe. “We are optimistic that opening now in Scotland is an opportune time for Jollibee and will bring customers something different and exciting.”

Jollibee was originally founded in 1978 and has over 1,500 stores across 17 countries, including the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, UAE, and the UK in England and Wales. n

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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