Jollibee, Yoshinoya pair up for Japanese restaurant's expansion in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 16) — Jollibee Foods Corporation is taking on its first ever Japanese food chain, it announced Tuesday.

The fast food giant will be entering a 50/50 joint venture with Yoshinoya International Philippines Inc., it told the local stock exchange in a disclosure. The joint venture firm will serve as the Japanese restaurant’s local franchisee and will expand the brand locally, with 50 stores eyed for opening in the long-term.

This makes Yoshinoya the latest addition to the foreign franchised brands run by JFC in the Philippines, joining the likes of Burger King, PHO 24 and Panda Express.

“Yoshinoya’s contribution to JFC’s system wide sales will not be significant yet as it has very limited number of stores, but it has huge opportunity to increase sales by taking advantage of the strong demand for food delivery,” read the disclosure.

The announcement comes after the Tony Tan Caktiong-led firm released financial figures for 2020, which reveal JFC ended the year with ₱11.5 billion net loss as it deals with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Systemwide sales, which counts sales made by both its owned and franchised brands, fell 27.8% from 2019 to ₱175.9 billion. Revenues, meanwhile, shrank 27.9% last year with the health crisis triggering permanent store closures and lower sales per store.

JFC closed down 486 stores worldwide last year in line with rationalization efforts due to the health crisis, it said in a separate disclosure to the local bourse.

While JFC was able to post a net income of ₱2.04 billion in the last three months of 2020 after three consecutive quarters of loss, this figure was still 9.8% smaller than the earnings it raked in during the same period the year prior.

JFC ended 2020 with 3,217 restaurant outlets nationwide of both its foreign franchised restaurants and wholly-owned brands Jollibee, Greenwich, Chowking, Red Ribbon and Mang Inasal.

It also operates 2,607 stores across the globe including Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Yonghe King in China, and Smashburger in the United States.