Sharon Kim

Jollibee, a popular Filipino fast food chain, has opened in Orlando!

Roshan Uy, Reporter

Recently, hundreds of Filipinos around Orlando have gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Jollibee, one of the most famous fast food chains in the Philippines. With three other Jollibee’s located in Florida at Jacksonville, Pembroke Pines, and Pinella Park, a new branch near the University of Central Florida (UCF) has recently opened on Jan. 18 of this year, attracting not only the Filipino community but fast food lovers as well. 


The restaurant had been highly anticipated since its opening announcement two years ago. With its opening being announced and postponed several times, those who have been looking forward to the Jollibee at Orlando waited excitedly and made plans to travel there when it opened. Finally, when the restaurant opened this month, it attracted so many people sthe restaurant solely allowed drive-thru and take out. Its takeout lines and drive-thru lanes were full and extended beyond the premises of the restaurant, and rules had to be implemented to maintain the restaurant’s daily supply: each customer is only limited to buying under $70 of food, and they cannot buy more than 12 pieces of chicken or 10 peach mango pies.


It is no surprise. The restaurant, hailed “the best chain fried chicken in America” by Eater, is especially regarded for its uniquely delicious chicken. Offering two flavors, Chickenjoy’s original taste and spicy counterpart, “comes out hot and perfectly battered, with a crunchy exterior and juicy interior” (Thrillist). The taste stands out from regular chicken dishes, being perfectly seasoned and just the right amount of crispy. However, Jollibee’s Chickenjoy is not the only dish people are looking forward to.


“My mom would always [take me to] … Jollibee whenever, and she’s absolutely obsessed with the peach mango pie dessert,” states an anonymous Filipino student at Seminole High School (SHS) shares when asked about her experiences at the restaurant. 


“I [would have gone] … to the new one at [University of Central Florida], but the lines were so long. Everybody wants to get their hands on Chickenjoy,” they express.


“I like Jollibee’s spaghetti the most,” says another Filipino student at SHS who chose to remain anonymous. 


“It’s the kind of spaghetti you would see in a Filipino household … sweet and not too sour. It’s really, really delicious … I have an older sister who attends UCF, and she plans to go there with her friends,” they express.


Aside from its delicious food, Jollibee is conveniently located at the heart of Orlando, among many other food chains such as Denny’s and Taco Bell. It is near the campus of UCF, offering easy access to college students who are hungry for Philippine-based food. 


To learn more about the food chain, here are some facts from the official Jollibee website:


  • It operates in 34 countries, with over 6,300 stores globally with branches in the Philippines, United States, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Panama, Malaysia, South Korea, India, and Australia. 


  • Jollibee Group has eight wholly owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger); five franchised brands (Burger King, Panda Express, PHO24, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines, and Tim Ho Wan in certain territories in China); 80% ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf; 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee and PHO24; and 51% ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand.


  • Jollibee Group was named the Philippines’ most admired company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for ten years. It was also honored as one of Asia’s Fab 50 Companies and among the World’s Best Employers by Forbes. In 2020, Gallup awarded the Jollibee Group with the Exceptional Workplace Award, making it the first Philippine-based company to receive the distinction.


  • Jollibee Foods Corporation has grown brands that bring delightful dining experiences to its customers worldwide, thus spreading the joy of eating to everyone.