Popular Filipino restaurant chain Jollibee has confirmed it will open its flagship London restaurant in Leicester Square on May 20, three days after dining in England resumes. It is later than expected due to the extended period of closure of the reception venues since December. The new restaurant will seat 175 guests.
Last November, documents revealed that Jollibee would open its second restaurant in the capital at 22 Leicester Square on the former Bella Italia site – part of a major expansion across the UK and Europe. Today, April 29, Big Hospitality reports that the group has also confirmed the opening of six new restaurants in the UK this year – in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Reading, Cardiff, Nottingham and Leeds.
The restaurant chain that opened in the Philippines in 1978 operates nearly 1,500 restaurants around the world. The “Chickenjoy” fried chicken and hot dog spaghetti named after its mascot Hetty are among the brand’s main draws.
Ernesto Tanmantiong, CEO of Jollibee Group, said in a statement shared with Eater London that the opening was part of the group’s “continued commitment to grow in Europe”.
“Globally, Jollibee Group plans to open 450 restaurants across its brands this year with the long-term goal of being one of the top five restaurateurs in the world,” said Tanmantiong. “We know that customers are excited to try new restaurants and that visitors will return to key tourist destinations like central London, helping to fuel the capital’s restaurant industry. It’s great to see local communities across the UK trying our food for the first time and becoming loyal customers.
Its first London restaurant opened in Earl’s Court, west London, in 2018. Earlier reports have noted the company’s ambitions to open 50 restaurants in the UK by 2026.
All UK sites will feature a new look, which Big Hospitality says is designed to appeal to a younger demographic, especially 18-30 year olds.