Jollibee is taking its sweetened spaghetti bolognese to Italy as it plans its first restaurant in Europe.
Quite what the Italians will make of the dish, which is served with cut-up hotdogs, remains to be seen. However, refined tastes of the Italians are such that it is one of the only developed countries in the world without a single Starbucks.
The company is instead relying on expatriate Filipinos to support the venture — 200,000 live in Italy, the largest community in Europe.
Jose Minana, president of the Jollibee group said: “We’re looking at Italy… we will follow where the Pinoys are.”
The Jollibee group will enter into a joint venture with Blackbird Holdings, a Singaporean food and drink firm to own and operate the store in Italy. The location of the proposed restaurant has not been confirmed.
Both companies have committed to invest about a million dollars in the venture — 75 percent of which will be owned by the Filipino company under its international unit, Golden Plate Pte Ltd.
Jollibee is the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines, with 750 stores nationwide and more than 3,000 outlets worldwide, including in China, the US, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
Last year, the opening of Jollibee’s first Canadian outlet in Toronto saw fans — mainly homesick Filipino expatriates — queueing for up to six hours overnight in freezing conditions.