An international chain specializing in fried chicken is making its Dallas-area debut. Called Jollibee, it's a chain from the Philippines that is making a big push to expand its American presence, including a restaurant in Plano at 1016 Preston Rd., in a space previously occupied by a Pollo Tropical location.
A spokesperson from their Illinois office confirms that renovations on the Plano site will begin in January 2020, with a target goal to open in April, and more on the way.
Their signature dish is fried chicken which they serve with steamed rice and a side of gravy. You can buy it as a meal, with choice of sides such as mashed potatoes or corn, or in a bucket that has a very KFC-like red exterior.
Staff uniforms have a red-and-yellow color theme reminiscent of McDonald's. They also have a mascot that's a bee.
In addition to fried chicken, they have some traditional Filipino food such as the Fiesta rice noodles with garlic sauce, crushed pork rind, shrimp, and boiled eggs; and Halo Halo, the shaved ice dessert topped with condensed milk and fruits.
There's a fried chicken sandwich; four burgers, including one topped with a slice of pineapple; and some amusingly funky dishes such as their "Jolly Spaghetti" with a marinara sauce that contains sliced hot dogs.
Their breakfasts are especially hearty, combining an egg with steamed rice and choice of meaty meats that include beef tenders, pork in a sweet glaze, "Longanisa" sausage, or corned beef.
Jollibee has more than 230 international branches in Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
In North America, they opened their first store in 1998 in Daly City, California, and now operate 46 stores in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington, and Virginia, plus two in Canada: Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta.
Their parent company, Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), one of the largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies, has identified North America as a key growth market in its pursuit to be among the top five restaurant companies in the world.
Just this week, they established new U.S. headquarters in West Covina, California, with a goal to open 250 Jollibee stores in North America by 2023.
They made their Texas debut in 2013 when they opened in Houston with an absolute frenzy that included fans waiting in line for more than an hour. Dallas diners who like to wait in lines, you need to put this place on your dance card.
A second Texas location was slated to open in San Antonio in 2019.