VANCOUVER resident Keisuke Kondo camped out at 833 Granville Street for over 12 hours - arriving Thursday night at around half past 8 before the Friday 9am opening - to be the Jollibee’s first official customer on opening day. — JOLLIBEE

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp.’s (JFC) first Vancouver outlet was launched last week Friday, Feb. 25, and served nearly 5,000 customers — with some even camping out overnight for over 12 hours just for the famous Filipino fastfood favorite.

“We are extremely delighted by the enthusiastic reception to our first Jollibee store, and we look forward to serving our great-tasting food to more Vancouverites,” JFC President and Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in a statement on Thursday.

The newly opened store is located on Granville Street at Vancouver’s downtown entertainment district. Jollibee said this is its first outlet in British Columbia and its 23rd store in Canada.

Jollibee said it now has branches across “four of the five most populous Canadian provinces,” with shops also present in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba.

The company plans to launch two more stores in Strawberry Hill Shopping Center in Surrey and along Cambie Street near downtown’s Vancouver City Hall.

“Jollibee’s entry into the Vancouver market is a milestone for the Jollibee Group as we continue to expand in North America in line with our vision of becoming one of the top 5 restaurant companies in the world,” Mr. Tanmantiong said.

JFC now has over 5,900 stores across 34 countries. It has eight wholly owned brands under its belt, namely: Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, and Smashburger.

The company also has six franchised brands, namely: Burger King, Panda Express, PHO24, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines on top of Dunkin’ and Tim Ho Wan in certain territories in China. It also has an 80% stake in The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and a 60% ownership in the Superfoods Group.

In 2021, JFC swung to profitability with a P5.94-billion net income attributable to equity holders from the P11.51-billion loss incurred in 2020. The company also posted an 18.7% revenue growth to P153.51 billion from P129.31 billion.

On Thursday, Jollibee shares at the stock exchange went up 1.68% or P4.00 to close at P242.80 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte