Jollibee in the Land of Long White Cloud: Fast food giant hoping to conquer New Zealand

September 24, 2021 - 5:54 PM
People walk on Lambton Quay street in Wellington, New Zealand July 23, 2020. Picture taken July 23, 2020. (Reuters/Praveen Menon)

Spain now, New Zealand later?

Homegrown fast food giant Jollibee just opened its latest branch in Spain but it is thinking of further expanding its presence in the “Land of the Long White Cloud.”

On Friday (Manila time), it was reported that thousands of customers have lined up in its branch at Calle Arenal, Puerta del Sol in Madrid as early as the night before its official opening on September 23.

Last month, Jollibee generated online buzz when it announced of opening its first branch in Spain.

The news particularly elated some overseas Filipino workers but it also spawned memes and quips about “reverse colonization” as the Philippines used to be a colony of the European country for more than three centuries.

READ: Jollibee set to open first branch in Spain

Following its post on the Madrid opening, a Filipino appealed for the fast food giant to open a branch in the country where she is based.

“Please, Jollibee! Open one here in NZ!!!” Facebook user Kristina Cataluña-Mercado wrote in the comments section with a series of folded hands emojis.

Based on her profile, Kristina lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

“We’re thinking about it, Kristina! Hopefully soon,” Jollibee’s account responded to her with a smiling emoji.

The fast food giant previously said that it is set to open at least 500 stores next year.

“Most of our businesses abroad are reaching sales at pre-pandemic levels,” Ernesto Tanmantiong, Jollibee Group president and CEO, said last June.

“In March 2021, our sales in China, North America, and EMEAA (Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia) including Vietnam, were already equal to or higher than March 2019 levels,” he added.

This year, the Jollibee Group said it will invest P12.2 billion to continue its expansion.