November 10, 2023
Jollibee North America President Maribeth Dela Cruz joined “A Moment With” to share why the beloved brand has been able to successfully carve out its own niche in what many consider the world’s most competitive quick-service-restaurant (QSR) marketplace.
Founded in the Philippines more than 45 years ago and headlined by its world-famous “Chickenjoy” fried chicken, Jollibee is hitting its stride in North America (N.A.), where the global restaurant sensation is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. While Jollibee first entered the U.S. market in 1998 to cater to its loyal fanbase longing for a “taste of home”, the beloved brand now has a cult-like following among a highly diverse audience mix, which can be seen lining up around the block when Jollibee enters a new market.
Dela Cruz, a 35-year Jollibee veteran who took the helm of the company’s N.A. operations in 2005, brings an infectious energy to her leadership role. Highly driven yet humble, she is passionate about ensuring the global restaurant phenomenon maintains its authenticity as it continues with its rapid expansion plans across the U.S. and Canada.
“While we may not be the biggest QSR brand in North America just yet, we believe we have the right ingredients – great-tasting food at a great value, paired with our welcoming service – to make a lasting connection with our customers right from the start,” said Dela Cruz. “As someone who grew up on Jollibee, it brings me great pride to see the happiness on people’s faces when they are trying our food for the first time – spreading ‘the joy of eating’ is truly what our brand is all about.”
As a testament to its growing mainstream appeal in cities from coast to coast, international food website Eater.com named Jollibee “the best chain fried chicken in America” and leading industry publication, Ad Age, recognized Jollibee as one of “America’s Hottest Brands 2022.”
With the full support of its parent company, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Dela Cruz and her team will be propelling Jollibee N.A.'s ambitious growth trajectory, opening its 100th location in the coming months with plans to expand to 250 stores in the region by 2027.
“Our company’s vision is to become one of the top-five restaurant companies in the world, and North America represents a key pillar for achieving this momentous goal,” said Dela Cruz. “Helping to put Jollibee on the map in this important region has been an amazing journey, and I am more excited than ever about what the future holds for us – I am truly blessed.”
To learn more about her inspiring journey as President of Jollibee North America, please view her captivating interview, ‘A Moment With: Maribeth Dela Cruz’, on CBSNews.com.
On a mission to become one of the world’s top-five restaurant chains, Jollibee has more than 1,600 restaurants across 17 countries and is quickly expanding across North America. Follow Jollibee at @jollibeeus on Facebook, @jollibeeus on Instagram, and @jollibeeusa on TikTok to get updates on Jollibee’s upcoming store openings and other exciting announcements and events, including new product launches and special promotions.
About Jollibee Group
Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC, also known as Jollibee Group) is one of the fastest-growing restaurant companies in the world. Its mission is to serve great-tasting food and bring the joy of eating to everyone through its 18 brands with over 6,500 stores across 34 countries including the Philippines, United States, Canada, the People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, and Australia.
The Jollibee Group has eight wholly owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger); four franchised brands (Burger King, Panda Express, 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 51% ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand. JFC also has a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless for Tortazo, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States.
The Jollibee Group, through its subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) owns 90% participating interest in Titan Dining LP, a private equity fund that owns the Tim Ho Wan brand. The Jollibee Group has a joint venture with the THW Group to open and operate THW restaurants in Mainland China. Recently, the Jollibee Group has signed an agreement to establish a joint venture company that will own and operate Tiong Bahru Bakery and Common Man Coffee Roasters in the Philippines.
The Jollibee Group has launched its global sustainability agenda dubbed Joy for Tomorrow, which aims to strengthen the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. The agenda centers on the key pillars of Food, People, and Planet, and consists of 10 focus areas namely: food safety, food quality, nutrition & transparency, employee welfare, farmers livelihood, community support, good governance, packaging & recycling, waste reduction, and energy & water efficiency. Each focus area sets goals and initiatives that contribute and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
The 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 and World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes. The company is also a two-time recipient of Gallup’s Exceptional Workplace Award, making it the only Philippine-based company to receive the distinction.
To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit www.jollibeegroup.com.
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