JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) will be spending €10 million to fund its expansion in Spain, with the first store opening in the European country on Sept. 23.

The budget is a fifth of the €50-million investment it set for its Europe expansion. JFC wants to have 50 stores across the continent in the next five years.

In Spain, the restaurant group will be launching its first store at Puerta Del Sol in Madrid. The store will open at Calle Arenal, said to be one of Madrid’s “busiest thoroughfares.”

“Jollibee’s first Spain restaurant has a dining capacity for 180 guests, and features the brand’s store design reimagined for European customers,” JFC said in an e-mailed statement on Saturday.

The store was also designed to ensure safety with outdoor seating made available, a designated take-out collection area, and hand-washing stations. It will also have digital kiosks for transactions.

Jollibee Madrid will have a double-height dining hall to accommodate a full-sized palm tree at the center of the store.

The listed restaurant operator is banking on its international businesses to drive growth this year. It has 5,815 branches under its 17 brands in 44 countries.

The company aims to open 450 stores this year, majority of which will be launched abroad.

JFC shares on Friday declined by 3.43% or seven pesos, closing at P197 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte