Q&A: Does Jollibee Franchise in the UK?

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Jollibee is one of the most popular fast food brands on the planet, but is it possible to open your very own Jollibee franchise unit? We’re going to take a look at this Filipino food giant’s history and break down how you can get involved with the fast food franchise.

You might not have heard of Jollibee, but it’s known as ‘the McDonald’s of the Philippines’. This fast food institution, which was founded in 1978, beats both the golden arches and Burger King in its native country, in terms of popularity and market share, and has more than 750 stores across the nation. But what about in the rest of the world? Turns out, this Filipino fast food restaurant is quickly becoming a popular choice across the globe – and you could be its latest franchisee …

Does Jollibee franchise?

Yes, Jollibee does franchise. The fast food chain has more than 1,000 stores across the world, and more than half are operated by franchisees. Many of its franchise units can be found in international territories, including the US, Vietnam, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. According to its website, it is still actively seeking individuals to open new franchise sites across the globe.

Jollibee’s first location in the UK opened in 2018 and is still operating in Earl’s Court, London. Its arrival was so hotly anticipated that some diehard fans queued for 18 hours to get their hands on its delicious dishes. According to bighospitality.co.uk, the brand has submitted plans to open stores in Liverpool and Leicester and is eyeing up other sites in Manchester and Birmingham. It’s clear that Jollibee is looking to establish a presence in the UK’s biggest cities, so ambitious entrepreneurs up and down the country will have plenty of chances to get involved.

Over the past few years, Jollibee has also been on an acquisition mission and has already put aside over $1 billion for the purpose of acquiring competitive businesses. This policy is not new for the business; Jollibee Holdings, the franchise’s parent company, has already acquired an 85 percent share of the US-based Smashburger brand and owns the Chowking, Greenwich Pizza and Red Ribbon Bakeshop brands in the Philippines, as well as the rights to operate the Dunkin’ Donuts brand in China.

Jollibee has built on its reputation as the Philippines’ favourite fast-food restaurant in order to grow into other international markets. The restaurants aim to provide spaces in which families can enjoy quality time together, but their unique fast-food offering appeals to many people. It claims that, while many Filipino expats enjoy its dishes, 50 percent of its international customer base are locals from all backgrounds.

History of Jollibee

The story of Jollibee begins in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. In 1978, Tony Tan Caktiong founded the brand’s very first outlet there, introducing his unique menu of fast food. This restaurant catered to the distinct tastes of the Filipino population and went down very well. Within a year, seven more outlets were opened in the area.

The locals loved the Jollibee food, and the brand’s growing fame and profitability enabled it to launch a franchise model and open its first franchise unit in the city in 1979. Since then, the company hasn’t looked back, and continues to expand across the world.

Jollibee now serves up its tasty food to consumers across the globe. While it is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines, it has also set up restaurants in the US and other countries, including Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Canada. While many of its flagship stores are company-owned, Jollibee continues to look out for prospective franchisees who can expand the business even further.

Starting a Jollibee franchise unit

Jollibee serves up everything from fried chicken to Filipino-style spaghetti, and its franchise package is just as tempting as its menu. However, it’s not going to suit franchisees without a hefty wodge of cash behind them. Let’s find out more.

Becoming a Jollibee franchisee

Jollibee asks that its franchisees are:

  • Self-motivated
  • Willing to oversee the day-to-day operation of their restaurant
  • Available for full-time restaurant operations training
  • Able to fully fund the investment requirement

You’ll also need a minimum net worth of $5 million USD (£3.9 million) and must apply for a franchise as an individual, not as part of a company (even if you are that company’s owner). Having a site or location secured or the ability to secure one will give you an advantage, but it’s not a necessity.

How much you need to invest

Jollibee says that the investment costs will vary depending on the size, location and facilities of your store. However, it estimates that you’ll need to spend between £350,000 and £630,000 to get your location ready to open. You’ll also need to invest additional capital in stock, staff wages and rent, among other factors. Unfortunately, Jollibee does offer any financial assistance, so you’ll need to fund this venture yourself with savings or a privately-acquired business loan.

What you get in return

This significant investment includes:

  • Store construction
  • Kitchen facilities and equipment
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Air-con and heating systems
  • Signage

You’ll also get to undergo a three-month, full-time ‘Basic Operations Training Programme’ (BOTP) at one of Jollibee’s training stores. The franchise will also help you recruit and train your employees, including management, and will be on hand to assist with any queries throughout your time as a franchisee.

Similar franchise opportunities

If you’re not sure a Jollibee franchise is the right investment for you, check out another one of the UK’s most exciting franchise opportunities.


Fireaway puts the fast in fast food. This pizza franchise offers its customers authentic, Italian, stone-fired pizza in just three minutes. But just because they’re served in record time doesn’t mean the pizzas compromise on taste or quality. The business launched in 2011 and has since opened 17 stores in the London area. It’s set to open even more too!

  • Becoming a Fireaway franchisee: Because Fireaway’s current ambition is to drastically increase its UK presence, it’s interested in far more than just making profits from its franchisees. If you’re dedicated and hard-working, this franchise would like to hear from you.
  • How much you need to invest: To become a Fireaway franchisee, you need to make a total investment of £49,000. The expected revenue after two years is an impressive £500,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Fireaway will sort out marketing and supply the most talented chefs from Italy to make sure that the brand’s high standards are maintained across every franchise location. So, why wait? Head to its client page to find out more and apply.

Investing in Jollibee

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to join this successful Filipino brand here in the UK. But if you don’t think it’s the ideal franchise for you, there are plenty of others right here at Point Franchise. Explore our fast food franchise opportunities or browse our UK franchise directory to find the ideal venture for you.

>> Read more articles on the Fast Food sector

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