Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Food Passion takes over “Red Sun” in Thailand

Mar 14. 2019
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By The Nation

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Food Passion, the leading food business operator in the country, is taking over the well-known “Red Sun” Korean restaurant in Thailand, the company said in a press release on Thursday.

The company said it is aiming to expand the new customer base and target the Korean restaurant market. It is confident that Red Sun will be a part of an important jigsaw that helps to strengthen the Food Passion empire in the future. 

After the acquisition, individual strengths will be merged to move forward, pushing Red Sun as the No.1 Korean restaurant in Thailand, with the aim to increase Red Sun’s revenue by 40 per cent within this year.

Chataya Supanpong, Food Passion Co., Ltd.'s Chief Engagement Officer said that Food Passion has been looking for opportunities to expand the business both widely and deeply. Adding a new brand into the portfolio is considered as an important strategy to fulfil the diversity of dining options to the people through various brands and channels. 

This strategy will not only increase revenue, but also expand the opportunity in reaching new customers in new markets, with the ultimate goal to create an empire of happiness through dining for Thais. Previously, the company has studied the opportunity and possibility in business continuously until it brought about the latest success by closing the deal. This is another big step for Food Passion in purchasing the popular Korean food business like “Red Sun” in Thailand.

Chataya said: “Red Sun is a brand with potential and steady growth even though it has only been in Thailand for 4 years. This is a product of its distinctive flavour and menu that have resulted in loyal fans. Korean food is also popular in Thailand. The market for Korean restaurant market in Thailand has grown continuously. In 2013, the market value was Bt1 billion, and now it has grown to Bt2 billion. Red Sun has a 5 per cent market share. 

“These are the factors that make Food Passion confident enough to take over Red Sun. We’re sure that combining the strength of Red Sun with business know-how, professional management, and unique marketing of Food Passion, it will make Red Sun grow exponentially,” said Chataya.

This acquisition means Food Passion will become the main shareholder in Food Sun Co., Ltd. which runs Red Sun in Thailand with 74 per cent of stock while the original management team will hold 26 per cent of stock. This 74 per cent of stock includes Food Sun’s assets such as Red Sun restaurant and its 12 branches in Thailand, the right to open and manage Red Sun franchise around the world except in Korea, China and Cambodia. Following the take over, Noppawin Rodrin, from the original management team will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of Food Sun Co., Ltd.

Chataya added that the Brand Portfolio is one of Food Passion’s strategies. There are four directions in business expansion for Food Passion: 

1) Expand the business with the existing brands in our portfolio,

2) Expand through newly developed brands, 

3) Expand brands and businesses that have been acquired into the portfolio, and 

4) Expand the business in overseas market under brands within Food Passion. In the past year, it can be considered that we’ve expanded the business and added brands to support our business portfolio according to the set goals.

Currently, Food Passion has five restaurant brands in its portfolio, including Bar B Q Plaza, Jum Zap Hut, Charna (the health food restaurant with the concept “Full Flavour Healthy Meal”), SPACE Q (a grill and shabu under the concept of “Social Grill”), and most recently Red Sun. 

5) In adding a brand into the portfolio, it follows important principles that 1) It has to be in a market with potential for growth, 2) Brands have to have a potential to be No.1 in the market, and 3) Share the same value and direction in business. Combining these with the marketing expertise of Food Passion, it becomes a secret recipe for success that can make the business grow strongly in the long run.

Noppawin Rodrin, who currently holds the position of CEO of Food Sun Co., Ltd, said that Red Sun is a Korean restaurant that is very famous in Korea. Its best known menu is tteok-bokki and Red Sun fried rice. This popular menu has won the No.1 champ on SBS Channel, which is Korea’s leading broadcasting network. 

There are over 50 branches across Korea. The franchise came to Thailand in 2014, with the first branch opening in Siam Square. Currently, it has a total of 12 branches. Ten branches are in Bangkok, while two branches are in Pattaya and Nakhon Ratchasima.

“Being a part of Food Passion is considered as a big change for Red Sun to become the No.1 Korean restaurant brand in Thailand. This goal requires readiness in different areas, especially in effective management in order to prepare for future growth. After the acquisition, a strategy is put in place to expand the business in all dimensions, including opening new branches in Thailand and overseas. 

“About four to six new branches are set to be open in Thailand this year, with the location choice focusing mainly in Bangkok. We’re also ready to revamp the image of Red Sun to be more modern by changing the new concept look at Siam Center branch to appeal more towards teenagers. 

“We also plan to expand the delivery market and increase the revenue from 1 per cent to 5 per cent by adding over 10 menus for delivery. It is expected that by 2020, the revenue from delivery can be increased to 10 per cent of overall sales.”

With this form of strategy, it is assured that 2019 will be the year that Red Sun will take a giant leap in growth, setting its sight at 40 per cent revenue growth and market share growing from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. It is expected that in the next 2 years, there will be more than 20 branches in Bangkok, plus more branches in other provinces. The expansion to overseas branches will happen within 2020.

“Red Sun will be another successful brand under the Food Passion empire. Aside from the growth in revenue which is expected to be 5-10 per cent of the total revenue, Red Sun will also become a strategic brand that we bring in to support the business and target customers who love the trending Korean food,” Chataya said.

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