First Things First
In the first part of this three-part series, Food at Jollibee in the Philippines - Part 1: Traditional American Food, we explored how the food at Jollibee is so so similar to fast food in America. Now we present the other side of the coin, part of the fast food paradox that is known as the menu of Jollibee in the Philippines. It’s what makes it unique, stand out to its customers, and what makes it so memorable for those who visit the Philippines. At least it was the case for me.
In Filipino culture, noodles are a signifcant part of the diet. Of course they provide necessary carbohydrates to power the body, in addition to symbolizing long life for the length of the noodle, but without noodles, there could never exist the amazingness known as the Jolibee Spagetti! Spaghetti in a fast food restaurant?! That’s right - but don’t knock it until you try it. This classic is a favorite among Filipinos, along with the Palabok Fiesta - which is the fast food version of Pancit Palabok - a traditional dish featuring palabok sauce, pork chicharon, pork, shrimp, and sliced eggs.
Even more important to Filipinos than noodles is the most vital staple to most east asian countries: rice. You can basically eat rice with anything - even burgers. So why even mess with a silly bun of bread - just take the burger patty, throw it on some rice and add some special sauce. It’s so simple and yet so beautiful: the Jollibee Burger Steak rice dish. But wait, there’s more! We’re not simply limited to beef patty’s, but imagine this: a crispy chicken patty served over rice with the same magical sauce. That’s right, and now you have experienced all the mouth-watering deliciousness of the Jollibee Crispy Chicken Steak.
What Else is There?
It would be tragic to stop here, so in addition to Part 1: Traditional American Food, and this part on Traditional Filipino Food, we’ll wrap up this series with my personal favorite: Breakfast and Deserts! Don’t miss out and be sure to check out Food at Jollibee in the Philippines - Part 3: Breakfast and Desserts.
Read more about Jollibee Advertising in the Philippines.
Check out more info on Jollibee Philippines.
The food at Jollibee is definitely an interesting combination of both American and Filipino food fused together for a unique experience for your taste buds. Walking in to Jollibee as an American, everything seems normal as far as fast food chains go. Everything you see, smell and hear seems like the ordinary American fast food experience, as if you’re in a McDonalds, Wendy’s or Jack in the Box. Well, I suppose all the Tagalog you hear around you probably reminds you that you’re still in the Philippines. But in reality, there’s much more than meets the eye - or taste buds. In this first part of a three part series, we’ll explore the American side of the menu.
The classic fast food item in America is the hamburger. At McDonalds, we know them simply as “hamburgers” and “cheeseburgers.” At Jollibee, they brand them uniquely as “Yumburgers,” and come in your typical varieties: basic (meat only with special sauce), with cheese, and with cheese, lettuce and tomato. They also come in a larger version, known as the “Champ” which consists of a 1/3 pound beef patty. Other varations on the traditional beef burger is the Crispy Chicken Burger and Spicy Crispy Chicken Burger - reminiscent of the Jack in the Box’s Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich (now known as Jack’s Spicy Chicken).
Probably the best known chicken franchise in America is KFC. No, it no longer can stand for Kentucky Fried Chicken (is it because what they serve is no longer qualified as ‘chicken’?), but still only as KFC. Fried chicken is staple of Jollibee in the Philippines as well. Using their typical clever branding, Jollibee has created “ChickenJoy.” It comes in two flavors: original and spicy, and can be served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. Additionally, you can order buckets of ChickenJoy for the whole family. Never has so much nutrition been available in a bucket.
As far as other traditional American fast food, Jollibee offers the best meal one can get at a summer baseball game: the hot dog. It’s pretty basic but in addition to the typical ketchup, it includes a “cheese-based topping” and grated cheese. And to go with all this food, the sides available at Jollibee include classic French Fries (chili and cheese fries are also an option) and Nachos. Basically, it’s starting to feel like a hybrid of McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Arby’s and Taco Bell - some of my favorite U.S. based fast food restaurants.
Is that all?
Oh no, we’re only getting started with the basics of Jollibee food. There’s a whole new realm of food experience that we’ll explore in the next part: Food at Jollibee in the Philippines - Part 2: Traditional Filipino Food.
After that, we’ll move on to Food at Jollibee in the Philippines - Part 3: Breakfast and Desserts.
Learn more about Jollibee Philippines.
Who would have guessed that a giant cartoon bee character could become the national symbol for delicious, affordable and fast food in the Philippines? Well, that’s what began in 1975 when Tony Tan Caktiong opened an ice cream shop in Cubao, Quezon City. The results of his efforts has been nothing short of phenomenal. Though Jollibee began as an ice cream parlor, it was the move to diversify to more types of food like hamburgers that really put them on the map. In every major area in the Philippines, one can count on multiple Jollibee’s being around, ready to serve you a Yumburger, ChickenJoy, or your own personal favorite.
According the the official Jollibee website, in less than 10 years, in 1984, Jollibee reached the 500 million piso sales milestone. Another 5 years later in 1989, Jollibee accomplished another amazing feat - reaching the 1 billion piso sales mark - and being the first fast food chain in the Phlippines to do so. Other notable accomplishments include becoming part of the top 100 corporations in the Philippines in 1987, and becoming the first food service company to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange. The prestigious award of “World Entreprenuer of the Year” was given to founder Tony Tan Caktiong in 2004 for the inspiring work he’s done. Additionally, the Far Eastern Economic Review has judged Jollibee as “The Most Admired Company” in the Philippines over the last 6 years.
What’s the secret to the success of Jollibee? Is it the creative marketing and unique branding they’ve pioneered in the the realm of fast food? Is it the focus on traditional Filipino culture and the fact that they try to still seem a “local favorite” despite the fact that they’re the nation’s most prevalent restaurant? I’d say it’s a combination of all these things and more. Jollibee has indeed revolutionized the fast food industry in the Philippines. Today they satisfy the apetites of Filipinos everywhere with 600 stores in the Philippines and over 30 international stores.
Taste the flavors of Food at Jollibee in the Philippines.
Get more information on Jollibee Philippines.