The Philippines’ largest chain, Jollibee, is eyeing global expansion with 450 new eateries thanks to open this year.
Famous for its crispy fried chicken, it sees “opportunities” created by Covid-19 because it targets overseas markets.
Jollibee’s chief executive said his long-term goal is to become one of the world’s top five restaurant chains.
Along with the expansion in China, Southeast Asia, and therefore the US, it also has outlets planned for Wales and Scotland.
Jollibee had quite 5,800 eateries in 33 countries at the top of last year. However, this is often 147 fewer than at the top of 2019, because it closed almost 500 stores during the pandemic.
Jollibee posted an 11.5bn peso ($240m; £170m) loss last year, its first annual loss in additional than three decades, as dining out was hit hard by virus lockdowns.
The Philippines sank into recession in 2020 and therefore the strength of its expected recovery has been hampered by a delayed national vaccination campaign.
This is one among the explanations it’s targeting foreign markets, and needs quite half its sales to return from abroad by 2025.
Jollibee, also known for its sweet spaghetti, has spent 7bn pesos on “business transformations”, including upgrades to its food delivery and online sales.
In 2019, it bought the coffee berry & tea, an American chain, its largest-ever purchase at $350m.
Jollibee, seen as Asia’s equivalent of KFC, also owns a variety of other brands including Greenwich pizza chain and Smashburger.
Around 80% of its new stores are going to be overseas and “equally split” among China, North America, and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia.
“This year, we are set to further expand in new areas within the UK by opening our Jollibee store in Scotland in Edinburgh, and in Wales in Cardiff,” Jollibee spokesman Ernani Barrientos told the BBC.