Looks like the happy little bee's buzz is getting stronger and stronger. The Philippines' biggest fast-food operator, Jollibee Food Corporation, has expanded from juicy fried chicken to xiao long bao by teaming up with Tim Ho Wan, at least outside of the Philippines, with plans of expanding and operating the dim sum chain in China. While it may take around three to five years to really get the ball rolling, we can already smell the dim sum in the air.
The U.S. $13 million (around P660 million) investment is a joint venture between Jollibee Food Corporation's subsidiary, Golden Plate Pte Ltd, in partnership with Dim Sum Pte Ltd., the franchise holder of Tim Ho Wan in the Asia Pacific. Around 60% of the venture will be owned by Jollibee, who is putting around U.S. $7.8 million (around P400 million) into the project.
The partnership is "an excellent opportunity to operate and expand one of the known Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant chain brands," the Jollibee Food Corporation was quoted as saying in a report by ABS-CBN News.
Tim Ho Wan was originally a hole-in-the-wall dim sum eatery in Hong Kong. It's also arguably one of the most affordable Michelin-starred restos in the world, famous for their Baked BBQ Pork Buns. The restaurant chain has expanded to places like Singapore and was brought to Manila by Enrico "Rikki" Dee's Foodee Global Concepts, now the Food Link group. With the help of Filipino-owned Jollibee, Tim Ho Wan will be opening in areas like Shanghai and other Chinese cities.
This is the latest in Jollibee's investments in foreign food brands. In September 2019, the bee also bought out the American Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain for around U.S. $350 million (around P18.3 billion).