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.
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.