Zen Corporation seeks expansion via franchising
Restaurant company Zen Corporation Group seeks to take its AKA yakiniku chain into Southeast Asia through franchising.
“We believe the expansion will help us expand our reach to more consumers in Thailand and the region, serving as a foothold for further business growth,” says Zen Corporation Group chief commercial officer Thanyachate Ekvetchavit.
Along with 12 other brands, AKA is one of the key drivers behind Zen’s business success, he says. The Japanese yakiniku restaurant was launched 10 years ago as its flagship brand.
“We are focussing on Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar, and aim to open about 10 stores in five years,” says Thanyachate. “We are in discussions with several potential franchisees.”
There are 14 AKA restaurants in Bangkok and one in Pattaya. Another will open in Nakhon Ratchasima this year to be followed by 10 more branches over the next five years, taking the total to 25, with the focus on the firm’s own investment.
Zen expects to grow its sales by 20 per cent this year and continue at 15 to 20 per cent in annual growth for the next five years. “Apart from AKA, On The Table and Zen Restaurant, we are focussing on Thai brands, including Tummour.”
He says the group will continue to focus on enhancing customer experience by focussing on product and service innovation.
“As our world becomes more digitalised, we are paying more attention to how we can use technologies to improve efficiency.”