The name Jollibee was Lumba’s improvement of Tony’s invention, which was “Jolibe.” Both of them agreed that the name would appeal to the nature of Filipinos: happy, but busy. It is said that the mascot, an anthropomorphic bee, was influenced by both Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald: two bourgeoning icons in pop culture and food, no doubt. 1978 saw the company posting 2 million PHP in sales, with the Yumburger as its flagship product. The Spaghetti Special or what is now called Jolli Spaghetti would be introduced a year later, in time for the opening of the first franchise of Jollibee in Sta. Cruz, Manila. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Jollibee has over 1000 stores all over the Philippines and the Middle East.
Jollibee’s food is largely influenced by Filipino food sensibilities and taste. The Jolli Spaghetti has a sweet, tomato sauce, and generous helpings of cheddar cheese, ham, and hotdogs. The oldest product in the menu, the Yumburger, is actually an economical sandwich that’s convenient and has Jollibee’s signature savory patty. It is also retained as one of the lower cost menu items, making it ideal for ordinary employees and students.
Other products, like the peach mango pie, are time-honored favorites of Filipinos. The peach mango pie is gooey on the inside, but crisp on the outside and has a sweet peach and mango blend.
The fried chicken, also called “Cripsylicious Chickenjoy” was designed to have very crunchy skin and tender meat, so it can be paired easily with steaming white rice and the restaurant’s special gravy. Crunchy chicken skin is the mark of decadence in the country when consuming chicken, and is something that home cooks aspire for when they prepare fried chicken for their families at home.