Per the JDR:http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=549569Jollibee welcomes 3,000 customers on first day in Jacksonville
Asia’s largest restaurant company by market capitalization prepared Friday for its Saturday grand opening in Jacksonville with candles, prayers, blessings, a traditional coin toss and a song-and-dance by its mascot.
Jollibee Foods Corp. also rolled out a big bucket of Chickenjoy, its signature menu item, for guests to photograph at its Florida flagship fast-food restaurant at southwest Atlantic and Kernan boulevards.
Taste-testing ensued from smaller buckets of fried chicken passed around the crowd for the “Chickenjoy toast” and later at the buffet line.
“It’s about time. It’s a long wait,” said Dr. Mel Carbonell, a physician and the president of the Filipino-American Community Council of Northeast Florida.
“Jollibee represents the Philippines,” he said.
On Saturday morning, about 150 customers lined up by the 7 a.m. opening, with Westside resident Helen De Nardis at the front of the line with her daughter, son and grandson.
“We want to be part of history,” she said.
De Nardis moved from the Philippines to Chicago and then Jacksonville.
The family set up near the front door at 2 a.m., she said. “We’ll be here a lot. I don’t mind driving.”
Jollibee said 3,000 customers came through on opening day.
The restaurant is the largest fast-food chain brand in the Philippines, where it operates more than 950 stores.
Along with its other brands, Jollibee Foods Corp. operates more than 3,000 stores globally.