Those who are familiar with the Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee already know they're huge in the Philippines. They outsell even McDonald's there.
The burger-fried-chicken mega-chain has recently announced its plans to invest $41 million in overseas markets. $16 million of it will be earmarked to buy out all U.S. operations of the smaller Filipino chain Chowking, which sells Filipino-Chinese food. The agreement it signs gives Jollibee all 20 U.S. Chowking stores, 18 of which are in California.
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Make no mistake, this is Jollibee's bid to bolster its prospects in the states to appeal to mainstream consumers as part of its long term strategy.
On a local note, the first Jollibee in Orange County appears just a touch closer to being built. Gustavo told me that they've finally begun gutting the old Chris & Pitts in Anaheim to make way. When it finally opens, Euclid St. will hunger for spaghetti with grated cheese and cut-up hot dogs no more.