Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee has already made its way across the globe with locations in Canada, England, Vietnam, the U.S. and more. Famous for its Chickenjoy menu item – a crispy, fried chicken dish – the eatery has developed a cult following as it brings a taste of the Philippines to each city it settles in. Jollibee lovers in the DFW metroplex no longer have to make the trek down to Houston just for a taste of Chickenjoy; the Plano location is opening Thursday, August 20.
Jollibee is the largest fast-food brand in the Philippines, operating more than 1,400 stores there. The Plano location is one of the brand’s planned 150 U.S. locations by 2023.
Alvin Ong and his wife, Cheri, grew up in the Philippines and now live in McKinney. They have both been eagerly anticipating the opening of the Plano restaurant.
“Jollibee started as an ice cream parlor, and they got famous for their ice cream. Then they started selling chicken, and that got famous,” Cheri said. “People just fell in love with their food.”
“It’s all about the chicken,” Alvin chimed in, refering to the Chickenjoy dish. Cheri echoed his sentiments, “I love the chicken!”
Jollibee has burgers on the menu as well, but one of its most notable dishes is Jolly Spaghetti. In this classic Filipino dish, hot dogs are sliced into coin-shaped pieces and added to a sweet sauce with noodles. It might sound a bit wild for someone accustomed to the American diet, but people around the world are drawn in by this dish.
Another noodle dish the fast-food restaurant offers is called Palabok, and it consists of egg noodles, shrimp, garlic sauce, pork rinds and sliced hardboiled eggs. Also on the menu are hamburger steaks, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and breakfast meals inspired by traditional Filipino and Western breakfast staples.
“Whenever Jollibee opens in a new city, it’s not the typical, opening-day, long line. It is much more than that. It’s like Black Friday madness,” shared Alvin. “I bet people will camp out the night before,” he said, referring to the upcoming Plano opening.
At the Chandler, Arizona store opening, the first customer in line reportedly camped out for three days.
For Filipinos living outside of their home country, the Ongs say Jollibee brings home to them. “Jollibee is the whole package. It’s food and a cultural experience,” said Alvin. He explained that its bee mascot stops in at various locations of the restaurant but also will come to your birthday party at request.
The brand is also known for its viral commercials, shorts and series. “They tell all these stories that tie in with the culture. They capture the community, the traits and characteristics of Filipinos everywhere,” Alvin said.
To provide a safe environment for both West Plano customers and the store team in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, services available to customers beginning on opening day will temporarily be limited to call-ahead pick-up and drive-thru only. Looking forward, the brand plans to introduce home delivery via Doordash and walk-in take-out to customers. The store’s dining room will remain closed until further notice. Jollibee West Plano’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily.Jollibee USA >
1016 Preston Rd.
Plano, TX 75093