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How Much Does It Cost to Open a Jollibee?

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Fried chicken in a red bucket with sides and drinks surrounding it.
variety of chickens buckets and combos, finger licking snacks with delicious sauces
hamza ishqaidif/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Though it’s now a fast-food restaurant, Jollibee started out as an ice cream parlor. Founder Tony Tan Caktiong was reportedly inspired to forego a career in chemical engineering for a career in foodservice after a trip to an ice cream plant.

His initial locations did well; however, people started asking for hot food so he began selling hamburgers and sandwiches. The sales of those items quickly surpassed the ice cream, and Caktiong pivoted.

The franchise name is designed to invoke positive thoughts. The name was first introduced in 1978, a few years after the company began operations, as Jolibe. It was eventually changed to the current spelling so that it could be more easily associated with the words “jolly” and “bee”, an extension of what the company sees as a family-like work atmosphere. As Dennis Flores, president and head of international business, once said: “It compares the employees of the company to busy workers in a hive: hard working, industrious and providing the sweet things in life.”

One of the largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant chains in the world, Jollibee is most known for its Chickenjoy fried chicken, Yumburger and Jolly Spaghetti. The Philippines-based franchise tailors its menu for local tastes in over 1,500 stores around the globe. The food franchise is currently at 25 locations, and growing, in Canada.

According to the company’s corporate website, the initial investment depending on the final store size and facilities ranges from PHP 35M to PHP 55M, which is approximately $ 841,000 to $1,321,650 CAD (as of October 2023 exchange rates). The investment includes the construction of the store, kitchen equipment and facilities, furniture and fixtures, air conditioning system, signage, and pre-operating expenses.

The variability in cost to open a new Jollibee franchise, like most franchises, is highly dependent on factors such as area real estate costs, the size of outlet being opened, the construction that needs to be done, and additional factors such as the amount of traffic the restaurant gets in its opening months.

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