JOLLIBEE FOODS Corp. opened its first store in Spain as part of its ongoing global expansion efforts.

The restaurant firm said in a statement on Friday that its first store in Spain opened on Sept. 23 and is located at Puerta del Sol in Calle Arenal, Madrid.

Jollibee said the branch is the company’s largest restaurant in Europe. It has a capacity of 200 diners and displays new design features including a full-size indoor palm tree in a two-storey dining room.

“The Madrid restaurant introduces Jollibee’s brand redesign for European customers to Spain, aiming to create a memorable experience with bright graphics, bold wall murals, and tiles inspired by woven fabrics. Unique to the Madrid restaurant is a life-sized palm tree adorning its double-height central dining space – something not seen in any other Jollibee restaurant in the region,” Jollibee Europe Business Head Adam Parkinson said.

Jollibee Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said the company’s entry into Spain marks a major milestone in the company’s history and international expansion.

“The heartwarming reception to our opening in Spain inspires us in our journey to bring our much-loved Chickenjoy to more countries in Europe, and is in line with our vision to become among the top five restaurant companies in the world,” Mr. Tanmantiong said.

Dennis Flores, president of Jollibee Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia (EMEAA), said the opening of the Madrid store is part of the company’s plan to make Spain into one of its core markets in the region. “With our delicious food, friendly prices, and warm service, we hope to continue enticing more locals to love our food just as we see in other countries across EMEAA,” Mr. Flores said.

Meanwhile, Jollibee Spain General Manager Clara Breda said the restaurant has take-out pick-up areas, digital kiosks for transactions, and hand-washing stations.

The company recently announced that it will be allotting €10 million to fund its expansion in Spain. It is a fifth of the €50 million investment it allotted for its expansion in Europe. Jollibee aims to establish 50 stores in Europe during the next five years.

On Friday, shares of Jollibee at the stock exchange dropped 0.69% or P1.40 to end at P202 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave