Jollibee brings the taste of the Philippines to Edison


EDISON – The late Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain called Jollibee the “wackiest, jolliest place on Earth” on a visit to the growing Filipino fast food restaurant in Manila, the capital city in the Philippines.

And the “wackiest, jolliest place on Earth” has made its way to the township – 760 Route 1 north – in place of what was the former Roy Rogers and Arby’s fast food restaurants. The location in Edison is the fast food chain’s second location in New Jersey after opening a location in Jersey City at 393 Danforth Ave. in 2013. A third location opened in July at the Journal Square PATH plaza, also in Jersey City.

Since its official opening on June 6, long lines have been making their way through the drive-thru, oftentimes impeding traffic on Route 1. Law enforcement officials have even been on site directing traffic.

“We’re so honored and humbled by the warm reception and support we’ve received from our New Jersey fans, especially amid the [novel coronavirus] pandemic,” said Maribeth Dela Cruz, president of Jollibee Foods Corporation North America, Philippine Brands. “We think of our customers as family so their safety has been our top priority as we opened our second store in the state in Edison in June. To provide a safe environment for both customers and our store team, we have not yet opened our dining room and encourage our fans to take advantage of our take-home, call-in pick-up and drive-thru options.”

Dela Cruz said the Edison store has been a resounding success “not only because our fans have been eagerly anticipating this new store, but because they understand that we’re putting them first and are abiding by the recommended sanitation and social distancing measures.

“We opened our third store at the Journal Square PATH plaza in Jersey City in July where we’ve experienced similar success and offer take-home and call-in pick-up,” she said. “While we look forward to bringing Jollibee to even more cities across the U.S., the safety of our team members and customers will continue to be our top priority as we consider further expansion.”

Jollibee is the flagship brand of Jollibee Foods Corporation, according to its website. With 44 stores in the United States, 1,600 stores across the globe and many more yet to come, Jollibee’s mission is to spread the joy of eating.

The first location in the U.S. opened in Daly City, California, in 1998. More locations opened since then in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington, and Virginia. Locations are also in Manitoba and Ontario in Canada.

Jollibee is best known for Chickenjoy, which is “delicately hand-breaded to be crispylicious on the outside, with a secret marinade making it juicylicious on the inside” as well as Jolly Spaghetti and Peach Mango Pie made with real Philippine mangoes, according to the website.

Bourdain had visited Jollibee on two occasions during his travel and food show “Parts Unknown” in Manila and in Los Angeles.

During the episode in Manila he ordered chicken joy and spaghetti, which he called “deranged … strangely alluring.”

In Los Angeles, he visited the Jollibee with another celebrity chef Roy Choi and he ordered an Aloha burger, little big bite with SPAM, and halo-halo, a popular cold Filipino dessert. He called the food “tasty.”

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