Start your spam sandwich savings funds now, fans of Filipino fast food, because by the end of this year, Jollibee will be open for business in Toronto.
Oft-hailed as "the McDonald's of the Phillippines," Jollibee is well-known around the world for its pineapple-topped hamburgers, peach-mango pie and "Chickenjoy" fried chicken.
CFO of the Jollibee Foods Corp. YsmaelBaysa confirmed during an interview at the Phillipine Investment Forum on Tuesday that his company would soon be opening its first Canadian location.
With 2,833 stores worldwide as of 2014, Jollibee Foods Corp. is the biggest fast food restaurant operator in The Phillipines.
The company, which was founded in 1978, has opened outposts of its flagship fast food joint in about a dozen countries over the past 30 years, the most recent being Singapore, Qatar and the U.S. (which has 29 Jollibee stores, for the record.)
Baysa said Tuesday that Canada was one of several countries being eyed by the company "due to the growing number of Filipinos in these areas."
Indeed, just over 660,000 people of Filipino descent were living in Canada as of 2011 according to StatsCan — some of whom took to Twitter after learning of Jollibee's pending arrival to share their excitement along with others in Toronto who simply love the restaurant.
Jollibee's impending foray into the Canadian market is not being celebrated by everybody, however.
Some online are saying that the LAST thing our country needs is another fast food chain to increase obesity rates.
Nearly 25 per cent of Canadians are now considered obese, according to StatsCan's most-recent report on the condition — 17.5 per cent more than in 2003, and over three times as many as the number of obese Canadians recorded in 1985.
Others are simply miffed that Jollibee chose Toronto for its first Canadian location, as opposed to somewhere in their own region.
But don't lose hope yet if you don't live near Toronto — Manila Standard reports that Jollibee plans to open up 330 stores this year alone, including 220 in the Philippines and 110 overseas.