By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
Thomas Pryor, executive vice president of Destination Eats, the F&B business operation of Destination Properties Group, outlined the expansion plans.
Destination Eats owns the franchises for Hooters Asia, The Drunken Leprechaun, Champions, and Hard Rock Cafe, Pryor said.
The group’s other business segment is covered by Destination Resorts, which owns of a number of resorts and hotels. The portfolio comprises Four Points by Sherton Sukhumvit Soi 15, Novotel Phuket Karon Beach, Novotel Cha-Am Beach Resort & Spa, Novotel Surin Beach Phuket, Swissotel Patong Beach, and Swissotel Resort Phuket – Kamala.
Pryor said that Destination-Eats has been enjoying rapid expansion with the Hooters brand, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the company’s restaurant operations. The group has aggressive expansion plans in place throughout Thailand and the Philippines over the next 18 months.
“Destination Resorts has hotels located in Phuket, Hua Hin, and Bangkok. Meanwhile, Destination Eats, led by the Hooters brand, currently operates five units in Thailand, and one each in Hong Kong and Jakarta in Indonesia. An outlet in Bali is under construction and will be opened in the third quarter of this year.” Pryor said.
“Another Hooters American sport bar and restaurant will be opened in Manila by the end of this year. In addition, Destination Eats also operates two Hard Rock Cafe outlets in Phuket and Samui, and another two of the company’s own brand of Irish Fun Pubs called The Drunken Leprechaun in Bangkok and Phuket.”
He said the company has ambitious plans not only for the flagship Hooters brand but also for other brands to come on board over the next 12 months.
“ With Thailand’s fast-moving, strong economy we feel it only natural to reinvest in the country where our roots are firmly planted,” Pryor said.
“We are looking to expand and diversify the brand across numerous cuisine subsections so we will have a brand for everyone. Destination Eats will further develop as a lifestyle brand over the next five years with well over 250 units spread over eight different F&B concepts.”
Pryor said that the company was continually coming up with ideas on how to attract its guests. “With Thailand being so dynamic and fast paced, and especially Bangkok, it has become a truly world-class city for hospitality in both luxury hotels and fine eating establishments,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s challenging to keep up with these ever-changing trends because as soon as they are hip they can become square again. So this is certainly challenging keeping atop all of this.
“However, our teams are always out there coming up with our own ideas and embracing some current ones as well.”
Hooters of America has announced that its franchisee Hooters Asia, owned Destination Eats, will soon throw open the doors to the brand’s sixth Thailand outlet, in the prime Silom Road area of Bangkok. “The Thaniya Street location is a CBD and tourist hot spot popular with Japanese expats. Hooters invites residents and visitors to this vibrant metropolis to come by and tuck in to some fabulous food and enjoy the world-famous Hooters Girl hospitality,” he said.
“The 465 square metre venue will seat 165, including in a bar area with space for 30, just steps from the BTS Sala Deang station, and about a five-minute walk from the Rama 4 junction-MRT Silom station.
“With 50 flat-screen TV screens located throughout the dining and bar areas, sports fans can cheer on their favourite teams while slaying the hungries with Hooters original and new-recipe smoked chicken wings.” Hooters Silom will host a soft-opening event for the Soi Taniya outlet on May 14.
Pryor said the 100 guests will receive free wings for a year. The official launch party will be on May 19.
Gary Murray, chief executive of Destination Properties Group, said: “We are very confident on the success of Hooters Silom, owing to its prime location in the Silom district on Soi Thaniya. And as Bangkok is a popular holiday destination, there are a lot of tourists in this area, along with Japanese expats and visitors who are drawn to Hooters’ fun atmosphere and outstanding food.
“We have been very pleased with how well our five existing Thailand outlets have done, and we look forward to working with our partners to expand the brand’s presence in the region.”