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FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Philippines
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Jollibee eyes Mexican fast food chain to bolster global expansion plan

The leading Philippine quick service group also announced additional sites in new markets.

Jollibee Foods Corporation is seeking to invest in a Mexican restaurant chain this year, according to the group’s leaders.

Speaking to local reporters after the group’s shareholders meeting, Jollibee founder and Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong confirmed that talks have begun with multiple undisclosed parties.

"We are looking at a few of them. Either we acquire [on our own] or work with a group. We are flexible, and we want to play in that category," he said (as quoted by Nikkei Asian Review).

"We could start with [a small company] and we grow it, or it could be a medium-size company. What we are looking at is the potential, because the Mexican market in the U.S. is huge," his brother, CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong, added.

As of May, Jollibee has 4,239 stores in 21 territories across 12 brands – including the namesake chain and the recently-acquired Smashburger. The company reportedly aims to derive 50% of its revenue from overseas operations by 2023.

Jollibee also announced their to build 500 new stores, including in new markets like the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Indonesia as part of its P12-billion spending plan.

"The business had shown resilience in the past and we expect it to continue to do so. We expect revenues and profit to continue to at least sustain its historical growth rates in 2018 and in the years ahead," Tanmantiong explained in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

The group also told the Philippine Stock Exchange recently that all its staff are regular employees, having security of tenure, proper wages and other government-mandated benefits.

Last April, the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment directed Jollibee and its subsidiary, Burger King, to regularize about 7,000 workers after being suspected for being engaged in labor-only contracting.

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