$5 billion fast-food chain Jollibee, from the Philippines, to open in Dallas

Filipino fast-food restaurant Jollibee is expected to open on Dallas’ Greenville Avenue, near University Boulevard, in late 2022.

A sign announcing the opening hangs on a former Jack in the Box drive-through restaurant in East Dallas. CultureMap reported it yesterday.

The company’s entry into North Texas in 2020 was dramatic: We called it the highest-profile fast-food joint to open in D-FW since In-N-Out arrived in 2011. Some customers waited four hours to get food at the restaurant that opened near Preston Road and the President George Bush Turnpike in West Plano. The drive-through line spilled out onto Preston and over the turnpike, blocking traffic.

And why? Jollibee is the Philippines’ biggest food service company. Its market cap is $4.94 billion right now, according to Yahoo Finance. CNBC calls it the “McDonald’s of the Philippines.” And even though it arrived in the United States in 1998, it took another 22 years to land in North Texas.

For some customers, it took waiting 2, 3 or 4 hours in the drive-thru to get to the menu board at Jollibee in West Plano.

It isn’t clear how many Jollibee’s might open in D-FW, or if other leases are signed in Dallas proper. A spokeswoman says Arlington is a focal point.

Jollibee’s entry into Dallas is significant because it means that this powerful Asian company is expanding into one of Texas’ biggest cities.

When Jollibee opened in West Plano in 2020, it served 2,000 cars on Day One.
When Jollibee opened in West Plano in 2020, it served 2,000 cars on Day One.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

Even Anthony Bourdain has eaten at Jollibee. The chef visited the shop in Los Angeles in 2013 to film a segment for his food-travel show Parts Unknown. Bourdain died in 2018.

Many customers at Jollibee are there to order Chickenjoy, which are pieces of fried chicken served in buckets or with sides like steamed rice, fries or mashed potatoes. Another popular order is the Jolly Spaghetti, a plate of noodles and sauce topped with hot dogs and cheese.

The ultimate order — which would hit on all of Jollibee’s buzziest menu items — would be the Chickenjoy Bucket Treat B: six pieces of fried chicken, a family-sized portion of Jolly Spaghetti, and three peach-mango pies for dessert. Regulars seem to love the pies.

Jollibee is the Philippines' largest fast-food chain.

Ahead of the opening of the Plano store, Maribeth Dela Cruz, president of Jollibee Group North America, Philippine Brands, said she’s humbled by the response to Jollibee’s expansion.

“For Filipino Americans who consider Jollibee a ‘taste of home’ as well as those trying our products for the very first time, our wish is that Jollibee can be a source of comfort for individuals and families during these uncertain times,” she said in 2020.

  • Goldee’s Barbecue, Texas’ best barbecue joint, located in Fort Worth
  • Brunchaholics, a former pop-up that’s now a restaurant
  • 85C Bakery Cafe, a buzzy spot when the Taiwanese chain first arrived in Texas
  • And the aforementioned In-N-Out — which now has normal lines, but once was such a spectacle that a woman cried while taking her first bites of burger.

The new Jollibee in Dallas will be at 4703 Greenville Ave. The one Jollibee restaurant in operation in North Texas, for now, is at 1016 Preston Road (north of President George Bush Turnpike), Plano.

Nick Rallo contributed to this story.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

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