The ‘McDonald’s of the Philippines’ Is Slowly Taking Over America

Fast-food connoisseurs, take note.

We Americans love our McDonald’s. In fact, in the second it took you to read that sentence, the fast-food chain sold more than 75 hamburgers. So when a newcomer hits the block and claims to be the next Mickey D’s, you know we’re all ears.

That newcomer is Jollibee, a fast-food chain some people are calling the McDonald’s of the Philippines. The restaurant sells everything from fried chicken to Filipino desserts, although its signature dish is the “Chickenjoy,” a piece of fried chicken with a side of spaghetti, smothered in tomato sauce and topped with hotdog slices and ground beef. If you’re thinking that’s something you’d like to dig your fork into, you’re in luck. The chain is planning an “aggressive” expansion in America over the coming years, Jollibee Food Corporation North America’s vice president Maribeth Dela Cruz told Business Insider.

If the name Jollibee sounds familiar, that’s probably because it is. The restaurant already has 38 stores in the United States. Its most recent location opened October 27, 2018, in Manhattan. Jollibee also has 1,289 locations globally and has become a cult favorite in many countries. Now, the company officially acquired The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a coffee chain based in Los Angeles, CNN reports. Don’t miss these 12 fast food “facts” that are actually false.

When Jollibee opened its first store in the U.K., some fans camped out for as many as 18 hours to get a taste of its unique dishes. More than 1,000 others waited for hours on a line that zigged and zagged around the block.

“Jollibee’s arrival is definitely on par with the level of happiness when I graduated, got my first job, got engaged, got married, had my kids,” Mars El Brogy, one of the many native Filipinos who waited on line in the U.K, told thesun.co.uk. “This is huge.” Check out the 15 oldest restaurant chains in America.

American Jollibees expect to bring in a high number of Filipinos, too. “It’s not just the products they used to enjoy when they were back home,” Cruz told Business Insider. “It’s really the experience of bringing them back to happy memories of being with their family and celebrating moments and milestones in their lives back in the Philippines.”

And since Americans are some of the world’s biggest consumers of fast food, we have no doubt the chain will get the rest of the country on board in no time. Want to learn more about the industry? These are the 33 things your fast-food worker won’t tell you.