ZEN readies Bt1.5 bn to triple number of restaurants
ZEN Corporation Group, which has 27 years’ experience in operating restaurants that now number in the hundreds in Thailand and abroad, yesterday said it would invest about Bt1.5 billion to almost triple the number of its restaurants to 600 by 2022.
Under the expansion, the group will invest between Bt250 million and Bt300 million a year to open the new restaurants, and targets growth of 20 per cent every year over the period.
Sakkanon Chirathivat, chief executive officer, said that the group operates 242 restaurants in total, with 137 run as franchises and 105 under its own equity. Some 236 of the company’s restaurants are in Thailand, with the six overseas outlets operating under franchise, including in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
The restaurants are operated under 13 Thai and Japanese brands.
To strengthen its franchise network, the company is preparing to open eight new branches of its Thai and Japanese brands - AKA, On the Table, Pho and Tummour - in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia by the end of 2019.
“By 2022, we aim to reach a total of 600 restaurants, including 170 under our own equity, and 430 franchises,” Sakkanon said. “About 540 of these branches will be opened domestically and 60 will be franchise branches in overseas markets. The expansion will include across Asia where people are familiar with Thai cuisine. In the future, we plan to expand into the Middle East market where a franchising network is already established.”
Sakkanon said that the group aimed to achieve Bt10 billion in annual sales by 2022, and targeted a 25 per cent increase in sales this year. It posted sales growth of 15 per cent last year.
He said that the group's plan “is to enhance the best-in-class customer experience and focus on a business network expansion through new products and services”, including the launch of the affordable brand Musha to reach all groups of consumers.
Through the plan, the group aims to expand its franchise network and establish more branches across the country to achieve its targeted sales revenue of Bt10 billion by 2022.
“In response to current customers' behaviour, we will ensure that we deliver that experience through superior services and the integration of innovations while diversifying our business network with the creation of new brands and services, driving resource efficiency through state-of-the-art technology, and developing our staff to acquire expertise through carefully designed training modules,” said Sakkanon.
“We will integrate more technology into the operation to enhance productivity in responding to labour crunch.”
Sakkanon said that since the launch of the first branch of ZEN restaurant in 1991, which marked the beginning of the group, “we have been strengthening our business by offering the best services and food quality to our customers and expanding our business through both Japanese and Thai restaurant brands to better satisfy the diverse requirements” of Thai and international customers.
“Last year, we successfully introduced Sushi Cyu, which is the premium Japanese restaurant brand, and Musha, which offers affordable Japanese dishes, after having reinforced our group by merging the brand Tummour with us," Sakkanon said.
Thunyachate Ekvetchavit, chief commercial officer of ZEN Corporation Group, said that shifting trends in the industry resulting from the influence of digital technology and more health-conscious consumer behaviour have led the group to meet these changing needs by offering the 'best-in-class' life experience to our customers.