Maui can now add another spot to its list of must-eat restaurants, as the first Jollibee on the island officially opened to the public on the morning of Friday, January 24 at 9 AM HST. Approximately 300 fans claimed their places in-line at the new Kahului store even before doors had officially opened, cheering “It’s Our Turn!” to celebrate the arrival of the popular fast-food chain on their home island. The store continued welcoming customers until late into the evening, ultimately serving around 5,000 customers on its first day of business.
Jollibee openings are known around the globe for inspiring multi-day camp-outs and generating huge numbers of enthusiastic fans, and Maui was no exception. First-customer-in-line Frank Barbosa claimed his place before 5 PM on January 23—16 hours before the official opening. The 52-year-old father-of-two who resides in the Kihei region of Maui said that he was first introduced to Jollibee through his kids, whose love for the brand was what initially encouraged him to give it a try. At his first time eating Jollibee last April at the Ala Moana store—one of four Jollibee locations on the island of Oahu—he quickly understood what the hype was all about. “I love how a trip to Jollibee always gets my kids excited for mealtime and is a way for us to connect as a family over a delicious meal…and now, we can do that right here on our home island of Maui!” Barbosa said. When asked whether he was excited to be the first customer in-line, he exclaimed, “The first thing I’m going to do when I get inside is grab a bucket of Chickenjoy!”
While many customers in-attendance at opening day were familiar with the brand—either because they used to eat at Jollibee in the Philippines or had recently dined at one of the Oahu locations—others who had never tried Jollibee but heard about it through friends or social media came out of a curiosity to try its unique menu. The most popular item on the menu amongst Maui locals and tourists alike was the brand’s world-famous Chickenjoy, which is delicately hand-breaded to be crispylicious on the outside, with a secret marinade that makes it juicylicious on the inside. Additional fan-favorite items served on opening day included the chain’s Jolly Spaghetti, with its signature sweet-style sauce loaded with slices of savory ham and hotdog, and the U.S.-exclusive Chicken Sandwich, made with a 100% hand-breaded chicken breast fillet with a brioche bun, garlic aioli sauce, lettuce and tomatoes. Not to be forgotten is the brand’s Peach Mango Pie, made with real Philippine mangoes enveloped in a flaky, crispy crust.
“We’re so honored to officially be open on the beautiful island of Maui, which, in addition to being home to a large Filipino population and diverse food scene, is also a major tourist hub,” said Beth Dela Cruz, President of Jollibee Foods Corporation North America, Philippine Brands Group. “We are so glad that those Maui residents who used to have to fly all the way to Oahu for their Jollibee fix can now get it right here on their home island. We think of our customers as family and prioritize meeting them where they already are—whether that be in a city or on an island. As we continue to expand in 2020, we are excited for more Chickenjoy fans from across the U.S. to finally be able to say, ‘It’s Our Turn!’”
Jollibee Maui marks the brand’s 41st location in the U.S. as the chain progresses in its mission to grow to 150 stores in the country by 2023. Other areas of focus in 2020 include Florida, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Nevada, Texas and California.
Jollibee is the flagship brand of Jollibee Foods Corporation’s 15 brands. JFC is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies with more than 5,800 stores in 35 countries.