After 52, chain wants more

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Jollibee mascots turn up in full force for the inauguration of the chain’s newly renovated branch on the ground floor of SM City Cebu. Its newest branch in Cebu, in the City of Naga, also began operating on August 15, 2014. (Arni Aclao photo)


AFTER reports of the recent closing of 72 Jollibee branches in Metro Manila, a company official from its Visayas office said Cebu can expect more openings from the fast food giant before this year ends.

In an interview with Jollibee regional marketing manager Nelson M. Judaya last Thursday, the official said the company is up for more branches in Cebu this year and may go beyond their farthest location in the south, Carcar City, where it presently has two branches. Its northernmost branch is in Bogo City.

Judaya did not say how many branches are in the pipeline but said there are already 52 existing Jollibee stores in Cebu.
Jollibee Foods Corp., in a recent disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, said it opened a total of 108 new stores in the first semester. Of these, 84 are in the Philippines while 24 are abroad.

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In Cebu, the latest to open was the Naga Jollibee branch, which started its operations yesterday.

Also on Friday, the company reopened its newly renovated 580-square meter Jollibee branch on the ground floor of SM City Cebu.

Judaya added that customers can also expect some stores to temporarily close due to their aggressive renovation plans to provide customers a “more modern and happier” eating experience.

The renovation, he said, would take a month or so depending on the size of the store. For the newly re-opened branch in SM alone, it took them three months to complete the renovation.

The heightened interest among franchisors is also driving the growth of Jollibee stores in Cebu, said Judaya. Of the 52 existing branches, around 50 percent of them are franchised.

In a recent disclosure in the PSE, JFC reported a 17.2- percent jump in attributable net income to P2.47 billion in the first half of 2014 from last year’s P2.11 billion in the same quarter.

Recent reports in Metro Manila have stated that Jollibee is losing some P180 million in revenues a day due to the closure of the 72 stores, “on top of the P500 million that the company supposedly shelled out for its new IT system.”

But JFC, through its vice president for marketing Harvey Ong, said in a prior statement that the closure of some stores was a result of the company’s ongoing major systems upgrade.

“The product limitation has been caused by the migration to new systems that started on Aug. 1, 2014, which has resulted in temporary slowdown in sales order-taking, product loading and dispatch of transportation,” the company said.

The launch of the new platform is considered to be the largest IT investment of JFC, which amounted to at least half a billion pesos for this year alone.

“The purpose of this major investment is to prepare JFC for an accelerated business growth in the Philippines and abroad as it pursues its goal to become the largest Asian restaurant company and one of the most successful restaurant companies in the world,” the company added.

As of June 30, 2014, JFC operated 2,244 restaurant outlets in the country under different brands: Jollibee with 839 stores, Chowking with 406, Greenwich with 207, Red Ribbon with 298, Mang Inasal with 456 and Burger King with 38. JOG

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 16, 2014.

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