THE Jollibee Group opened two new Tim Ho Wan stores in CapitaMall Taiyanggong and APM Mall, Beijing, China.

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) said on Tuesday that it recently debuted two Tim Ho Wan restaurants in Beijing, bringing to 11 its current store count in mainland China ahead of its target of 100 new openings.

“As the second largest city in the country in terms of urban population, Beijing is instrumental in our aim to further expand our business in China,” JFC President and Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in a press release.

The two Michelin-starred stores, which opened in August, are the 10th and 11th branches of Tim Ho Wan on China’s mainland, another step forward for the company’s overseas expansion and sustained growth in the region.

“The long queues and waiting lists that have welcomed our openings in Beijing give us greater confidence to continue with our global expansion strategy for the Jollibee Group and Tim Ho Wan,” Mr. Tanmantiong said.

JFC believes that the two new stores are in prime locations: CapitaMall Taiyanggong Mall branch in Chaoyang District, which can seat 108 people, and APM Mall branch along Wangfujing Street, which can seat 100 people.

It said Chaoyang District is the “main urban area of the Chinese capital” while Wangfujing Street is “a well-known shopping street that is also known as one of the city’s symbols of commerce.”

JFC said that both branches were packed on opening day, with more customers lining up for up to an hour to try Tim Ho Wan’s signature dishes, which include baked barbeque pork buns, rice rolls, and pan-fried radish cake.

“Jollibee Group is committed to open 100 Tim Ho Wan restaurants in China within the next few years,” the company said.

In September 2020, JFC opened its first Tim Ho Wan restaurant in Shanghai’s Jing’an District after it entered into a joint venture agreement with the Tim Ho Wan Group to open and operate Tim Ho Wan restaurants in China.

“We remain focused [on] expanding Jollibee Group’s presence in China because of the continued trust and support that the locals have shown our brands. Residents and even tourists of Beijing can expect to see more of our stores in the coming years,” JFC China and Yonghe King President Louie Liu said.

JFC plans to increase its store network in China, which now numbers 475 across the brands Tim Ho Wan, Yonghe King, and Hong Zhuang Yuan by the end of August.

Last week, JFC’s subsidiary — Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. — committed more funds to the private equity fund that owns the Tim Ho Wan brand and company-owned stores ahead of a planned expansion in China.

It committed additional capital to Titan Dining LP, which increased its fund size to (Singapore) $350 million from S$250 million.

On the stock market on Thursday, JFC shares added P5.80 or 2.48% to P240 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile