COMPANY HANDOUT

RESTAURANT operator Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) said on Thursday that its flagship European store at the London West End’s Leicester Square will open on May 20.

“Opening in central London in such an iconic location is a huge step forward for Jollibee. Behind the scenes, we have been perfecting our new menu items as well as planning our brand-new restaurant design,” said Dennis M. Flores, Jollibee group’s regional business head for Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia, in a statement.

Around 75% of its customers are British locals, the company said.

Ernesto Tanmantiong, the restaurant operator’s president and chief executive officer, said the branch is part of Jollibee’s “continued commitment to [expanding] in Europe.”

The Jollibee group is eyeing to open 50 stores across the continent by 2025.

Seven more branches are set to launch this year, including a store in Scotland in Edinburgh, in Cardiff, Wales, and a store in Spain’s Madrid.

“Globally, Jollibee Group plans to open 450 restaurants across its brands this year with the long-term goal of being one of the world’s top five restaurant operators,” Mr. Tanmantiong said.

JFC shares at the stock market declined by 0.85% or P1.50 to close at P176 on Thursday. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte