In the world of fast-food, the competition is fierce. From burger joints to fried chicken spots, the choices are endless. But, if there’s one chain that stands out from the bunch and offers every single thing you could possibly want, it’s Jollibee, the best fast-food in the Philipines. To satisfy your hunger and your curiosity, here are 10 Untold Truths of Jollibee (Part 3).
10. Jollibee Is Expanding…Quickly!
If you ask anyone in the Philipines what the most popular fast-food place is, chances are, you’ll always get the same answer: Jollibee. The multinational chain came about in the late 1970s in Manila. After only a decade, they were already dominating the local market. But they didn’t stop there. Jollibee wanted to expand even more on a wider scale and opened their first international branch in Taiwan in 1986. Then, in 1988, their first US location in Daly City, California, was opened, and they’ve been growing in the U.S. ever since. With over 1,300 Jollibee locations worldwide today, it’s safe to say they have been quite successful in bringing together a mashup of Western comfort food and Asian flavors to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. In the U.S., we’ve seen the chain getting more and more popular by opening stores after store, and there are now 37 stores across the country. Jollibee has also been ranked fourth when it comes to Best Fast-Food Fried Chicken in America, which is a great honor, especially considering how much we love fried chicken. It seems like almost every day, Jollibee announces a new location as they are popping up left and right – and we can’t complain about that! Just recently, in the midst of the pandemic, 12 new stores across North America were opened, adding locations in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, and Nevada. Jollibee is determined to continue its fruitful and rewarding expansion, not only in the US but all around the world.
9. The Lines Are Always Long
When the food is good, obviously, it’s going to take some sacrifice to get your hands on some. When it comes to Jollibee, this sacrifice is your time. A little tip, don’t go to Jollibee if you’re in a hurry; because the waiting times are always, always long. No matter what time of the day, or the location you go to, people just can’t seem to get enough of Jollibee. It’s even advised that when you do plan on going to Jollibee, you should bring some tunes and some snacks with you because you could be there a while. This was proven numerous times, notably when the Dallas-Fort Worth location opened in Plano, Texas. Last August, the long-awaited arrival of Jollibee created a lot of hype, which means it also created a long lines and lots of waiting. But people didn’t care! On its first day of business, some chicken fans were even lined up at 4 a.m to make sure they got their fix – even though the store didn’t open until 8 a.m. And the waiting in line? Well, it was about 4 hours long. Imagine having to wait 4 hours just to get your hands on some fried chicken? Thankfully, it’s more than worth it. You know what they say: the longer you wait for your food, the better it’s going to be!
8. It Wasn’t Always A Fast-Food Chain
While it may be hard to imagine that one of the most successful fast-food chains wasn’t originally supposed to be one, it is very true. Jollibee’s founder, Tony Tan Caktiong, ditched a promising career in chemical engineering to get into the ice cream business in 1975. After opening two ice cream stands – Cubao Ice Cream House and Quiapo Ice Cream House – he decided to expand a little more by serving some hot items along with the frozen treats. However, the non-ice cream items ended up becoming the most popular items on the menu. So Tony knew what he had to do. He flew to America from the Philipines to study the methods used by fast-food giant, McDonald’s. Might as well learn from the best. When he went back, he used all of his knowledge to expand into the fast-food business. He opened a burger joint, created fun and colorful mascots, and sold his food at a very affordable price. And where did that lead him? It led him on the road to becoming a billionaire businessman and the owner of one of the most accomplished, prosperous fast-food joints. Not too shabby, indeed. This head-start gave Jollibee the momentum it needed to survive the buzz always surrounding McDonald’s and allowed it to quickly gain notoriety. While there’s no doubt that the ice cream was probably exquisite, we can’t help but be thankful that Tony decided to open Jollibee instead.
7. There’s A Lot Of Must-Try Items
If you’ve ever had the chance to try some authentic, traditional Filipino food, then you know just how tasty it is. It’s comfort food at its finest. At Jollibee, they serve an array of delicious and creative dishes that all have a jolly spin on them, so to speak. While everything on the menu is worth trying at least once, because it’s so darn good, there are four iconic things that everyone should get to experience. Best of all, you no longer need to travel across the world to try some good food from the Philipines. First off, Jollibee wouldn’t be Jollibee without Chickenjoy. Definitely one of the chain’s most popular items, the Chickenjoy stands out thanks to the signature blend of spices it’s seasoned with. If you’re looking for something with a crispy outside and juicy meat on the inside, look no further, you’ve found your new favorite! Next up, we have a Filipino birthday classic, the Jolly Spaghetti. Made with a sweet-style red sauce, long al dente spaghetti, and sliced hotdogs, this dish is perfectly paired, as luck would have it, with fried chicken. Then, the Palabok Fiesta is definitely another must-try. The classic Filipino dish has premium bihon noodles and is topped with a tasty shrimp sauce, Chicharrón pork crackling, and egg slice. Last but not least, what’s a complete meal without some dessert? The Peach Mango Pie is the perfect sweet and flaky way to end your Jollibee experience. But, no matter what you end up getting, satisfaction is guaranteed.
6. Jollibee Has Won Awards
It’s one thing to say that you’re one of the best fast-food chains out there, but it’s another to actually have the proof to back it up. After years of serving delicious and comforting food, Jollibee has finally got the recognition it deserves. Along with surpassing fast-food icons like KFC, McDonald’s, and Shake Shack on the American magazine Redbook list of best fast-foods, Jollibee has received numerous praises over the years. Recently, Jollibee Foods Corporation received two global citations recognizing the company’s excellence as a world-class employer. And that’s not all. They also received Gallup’s Exceptional Workplace award. Basically, it highlights just how much Jollibee values and takes good care of its employees. These obviously also apply to every JFC brand, such as Smashburger, Chowking, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. To reach that conclusion, Forbes conducted some research and surveyed 160,000 employees from over 58 countries. The employees were asked to score their employers based on image, economic footprint, talent development, gender equality, and social responsibility. They also had to rate their willingness to recommend their employers to friends and family and their satisfaction with their employer’s response to the pandemic. The results speak for themselves. So now, not only can Jollibee say that they’re an amazing restaurant, but they can actually prove it!
5. They’re Planning To Go Meat-Free
Okay, hold on to your hats – no, Jollibee isn’t going to get rid of its iconic fried chicken anytime soon, you can relax. However, they are planning on adding some new, meat-free options in response to demand and a growing health-consciousness – at least, in the Philippines. Cargill Philippines – which supplies chicken to Jollibee – has revealed the intention to bring plant-based meat alternatives to its menu in the near future. The president of Cargill has said they want to participate in the plant-based protein biz, and that its arrival in the Philippines was in the works. There’s already an ongoing discussion and interest, especially since the pandemic, when they saw the demand for poultry drastically drop. So, while Jollibee has yet to confirm if they’re completely on-board with the idea yet, there is a very good possibility that it will happen, if not now, soon enough. Fast-foods chains have been diving more and more into the plant-based business, so why not Jollibee? There’s no doubt that it would be simply exquisite, and it would also widen their menu options and allow more people to see what all the Jollibee fuss was about. Here’s to keeping our fingers crossed that they actually go through with it and that they bring it all the way here as well!
4. There’s A Jollibee Pick-Up App
Even with the pandemic forcing many to stay home, life has been pretty hectic. A lot of people have started working on-site again and don’t always have the luxury of waiting in long lines. Since gatherings of any kind have been best to avoid, Jollibee came up with the perfect solution by creating a new Order and Pick Up service! This service is available through the Jollibee app and is designed to make its customers’ lives much easier. Jollibee praises the Order and Pick up service as convenient, and the perfect way to maximize your travel time. You simply call, text, or message your order to the nearest Jollibee, you schedule the day and time you would like to pick it up, and voila! You no longer need to wait forever to get your food! As you pick it up, you can either go to the claiming area to collect your order or stay in the comfort of your car while the store crew hands you your food. Jollibee’s Marketing Manager said that in order to adjust to this “new normal,” saving any given time has become even more important, and finding ways to do so should be a priority. Jollibee always tries to bring services that add value and bring convenience to its customers through innovation, and this new service definitely fits the bill.
3. Crazy Breakfasts!
Your experience at Jollibee wouldn’t be complete without trying out their breakfast options at least once. They are insane, delicious, and simply too iconic not to be tried. While most people will turn to the famous Egg McMuffin when they want a fast-food breakfast, Jollibee should really be on top of your priority list when it comes to a hearty breakfast. For instance, if you’re a fan of Spam, you can enjoy it served with a side of tomato, egg, and rice. Well, in the Philipines, at least – this one has yet to grace our American menus. If Spam is not your jam, then they also have corned beef, hot dog-esque sausage, some tocino – which is sweet pork, and even beef tenders. The “Breakfast Joys” can also include some Jolly crispy chicken with a side of rice and egg, pancakes, and their famous steaks. These options are inspired by traditional Filipino and Western breakfast staples. However, they’re only available in certain locations and aren’t an all-day luxury. All these delicious items can be ordered and enjoyed up until 11 AM. Of course, no one said the only thing you can get for breakfast is designated breakfast food. If you feel like eating some spaghetti, then go right ahead; no one’s ever going to say anything about that. Just make sure you try the breakfast classics at some point; they’re worth it.
2. The Jolly Bee Of Jollibee
While Jollibee would win quite a lot of popularity contests in the Philipines, it has yet to reach the same status in America. Despite its delicious taste and friendly staff, there are still a lot of people who aren’t familiar enough with the chain to declare it their favorite. When Jollibee realized that they needed to compete with large international corporations with polished branding, they knew they needed to reinvent themselves, starting with the name and logo. Tony, the founder, originally named it Jolibe, with only one L and one E. While it doesn’t seem like two little letters would make a big difference, it did. Management consultant Manuel Lumba suggested that they should change the name to resemble the words “jolly” and “bee” as closely as possible. Before that, people had kind of a hard time figuring out how to pronounce the name. As for the logo, Lumba created it using influences from Mickey Mouse, comic books, and our good old friend Ronald McDonald. He chose a bee because they are hard-working, good-hearted, busy, and cheerful, and Tony thought it represented best of the Filipino people. Of course, bees are also associated with honey, a symbol of the sweeter things in life. When this switch was made, Jollibee saw its popularity go up and quickly took over the Philipines as the best fast-food chain. Needless to say, it’s beginning to look like it just might do the same thing over here, not that we’re complaining!
1. There Used To Be A Tv Show
Like any good fast-food restaurant knows, the best way to gain trust is to get the thumbs up of approval from the children! Jollibee knew this and took to the airwaves with the creation of a Tv show featuring their busy mascot, Jolly Bee. Jollittown was launched in 2008 to promote the chain’s 30th anniversary and concluded in 2013, with a total of 82 episodes. And the kids loved it! With good reason, too. Along with Jollibee as the main character, the chain introduced a bunch of new characters, all meant to represent the menu’s favorites. There was Hetty, the cheerleader representing spaghetti, Popo, the french fries, Twirlie, the sundae, and Mr.Yum, who represents the burger. Jollitown followed the crazy adventures of the characters, helping make wishes come true. If you’re thinking that you’ve never seen the show, that’s understandable. It was only available to people living in the Philipines, but it probably would’ve been quite the hit if it had aired in the United States. A bunch of colorful mascots representing fast-food items going on adventures? What’s not to love?