Despite Pandemic, Jollibee Expands Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in NYC and Launches Smashburger in Boston

IMAGE Jollibee Group

The now international food conglomerate is expanding its reach across the U.S.A. as the Jollibee Group brings back the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to New York City in the same month it launched Smashburger in Boston.

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The Filipino brand acquired 100 percent control of global brand CBTL in 2019 for a price tag of $350 million. This was after Jollibee Group purchased paid $10 million for the remaining 15 percent stake of Smashburger in order to become the fast food chain’s sole owner in 2018.

Jollibee's latest spot 5 Green Avenue, Brooklyn, NYC.

Photo by Jollibee Group.

Smashburger's newest branch located at 545 Boylston St. in the Back Bay of Boston, Massachusetts.

Photo by Jollibee Group.

“Our North America business continues to outperform the U.S. QSR industry. Smashburger has been double digit positive for the past 3 months across company owned stores with its online sales growing by 390 percent, while The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf brand has steadily grown since April despite the impact of the pandemic. The Philippine brands – Jollibee, Chowking, and Red Ribbon – have also performed well with Jollibee even seeing long queues with its recent openings. We thank our customers for patronizing our brands and we hope they’ll continue to support our future openings,” said Jollibee Group President for North America Rowel Vijandre.

Jollibee Foods Corp. experienced a setback worth P12 billion in net loss during the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this challenge, Jollibee Group expects CBTL and Smashburger to become profitable once more by 2021. It currently has 1,106 CBTL stores in its roster, as well as 293 Smashburger stores.

Jollibee Foods Corp. Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong set up Jollibee back in 1987 with only P350,000 when he was 22 years old. It now aims to become one of the top five restaurant companies in the world.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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