Popular Filipino fast food chain Jollibee has announced plans to open stores in Australia.

Dubbed Asia’s answer to McDonald’s, Jollibee — best known for its fried chicken (branded Chicken Joy), as well as its burgers, spaghetti, and local Filipino dishes — has over 1,000 stores, 130 of which are located outside the Philippines.

“Currently, we are present in two [continents], and in the next two years we will see Jollibee in four continents,” said Dennis Flores, Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) vice president for international markets, at the 17th Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition late last week.

“We are doing our best to open our first stores in the UK and Italy next year, and soon in Australia and Japan. We will continue our journey with Jollibee as a truly global brand.”

The company’s first Australian store is tipped to open in 2017, following JFC’s expansion to the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Malaysia and Oman.

Jollibee

Flores said Jollibee’s core strategy for international expansion is to pick markets where there is a concentration of Filipinos.

“Knowing that Jollibee is well-loved by Filipinos, reaching out to them wherever they are is logical for us. We took a conscious decision to prioritise going into markets with significant Filipino populations.

“We see this deep love from them, from our customers wherever we may go, may it be Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US or Kuwait. The markets I’ve talked about primarily cater to Filipino customers. But we have also ventured into non-Filipino markets or what we call mainstream markets. These are countries where a majority of our customers are non-Filipinos.”

Filipinos are currently the third largest Asian Australian immigrant group, and Filipino-Australians are the fifth-largest subgroup of Overseas Filipinos. Queensland boasts Australia’s third-largest Filipino Australian population, after New South Wales and Victoria, with 14.9 per cent of Australia’s Philippines-born residents residing here, according to census data.

Would you like to see a Jollibee’s store open in Queensland? Have your say in the comments below!

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