Now Jollibee is a fast food giant that had grown big and had ventured into foreign lands. Is the foray into Big Mac’s birthplace a mistake? Why is Jollibee in the U.S. of A ? Is it there to compete with McDonalds, Burger King and Wendys or to satisfy the sweeth tooth of Filipino- Americans? We all know that Jollibee carries authentic Filipino dishes more than its weird, sweet-tasting hamburgers and plain tasting fried chicken so what’s the big deal?
Most North American large urban centers are cosmopolitan, made up of diverse cultures from all over the world. Restaurant and fast food malls celebrate the diversity of exotic food from different nations which had over the years become standard palate to its citizens. It is common to see Lebanese shawarmas and falafels, Japanese sushi, Vietnamese pho soup, Jamaican jerk meats, Thai pad-thai noodles , Indian samosas and pakoras side by side in fast food lounges in malls and shopping centers. To add emphasis to its authenticity, the food stalls are in most cases manned and operated by immigrants that represent the country where the food originated. Does Jollibee qualify to represent and showcase Filipino cuisine ? Must it take away the hamburger, fried chicken and spaghetti and sell authentic Pinoy dishes instead? Problem is, what is one’s impression of a restaurant with a cartoon character name selling authentic dishes? I mean, what would one think of a restaurant named Humpty Dumpty specializing in Indian cuisine?
The name Jollibee is corny and the use of concocted adjectives such as crispylicious, juicylicious sound downright tacky to the ordinary North American ear. No matter what Jollibee puts on the menu , its image is permanently cast in hamburgers, fries and coke. Jollibee is a fast food chain that beat McDonalds in the junk food business back in RP period . It can’t claim or even pretend to be an icon of authentic Filipino cuisine. Moreover, when you bastardize food and export it back where it originally belonged, don’t expect to hear kind words.