EXCLUSIVE: Jollibee confirms it will look for local equipment supply after first UK store opening

Dennis Flores, president and head of international business EMEAA; Ernesto Tanmantiong, president and CEO; and Dondi Gomez, chief marketing officer

Jollibee has confirmed that it will begin to look for UK foodservice equipment suppliers following the opening of its first UK restaurant.

In conversation with FEJ, Dennis Flores, president and head of international business EMEAA of Jollibee, exclusively revealed that despite using global suppliers for ease and familiarity in its first UK site, the company will look locally when it chooses to expand.

Mr Flores said: “We always focus on getting local supply but for now because it is our first store we have got the things we need here from our global suppliers.

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He added: “Equipment and raw materials we have got from our global suppliers but we will be looking at more local companies and logistics suppliers as time goes on. Hopefully we will also get better prices from our local suppliers rather than global ones. We only used global suppliers at the start because that is what we are used to, but as a company we are keen to use local companies.”

The opening had been long-awaited in the UK and eager customers had to queue for hours on Saturday morning before they managed to get a taste of Jollibee’s signature fried chicken.

On the excitement, Mr Flores said: “Jollibee’s flagship product is chickenjoy, it has been loved by millions across the globe and we know that the UK is the largest fried chicken market in Europe so it’s perfect here. There is a huge demand for Jollibee here, I get emails from Filipinos who live here almost every week asking us to open a store here in the UK.”

Jollibee has already made plans to expand across the UK and capitalise on the fried chicken market.

Mr Flores said: “This is going to be the first of many stores that we will open, we plan to open 25 stores over the next five years, mostly in central London and also in other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.”

Along with being the first UK site, the Earl’s Court location is Europe’s second Jollibee site after the first was opened in Milan earlier this year.

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Alex Douglas

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