April 15 2014
Donuts is having its 33 birthday in Thailand which is the opportunity for me to remain potential investors that food/snack related businesses are one of the best investment to do in Thailand providing that you know what you are doing. A few years ago a client came to see me. He was at the time Quiznos master franchisee for North Carolina. It was the time when Quisnoz was one of the most fast progressing franchise businesses.
Sandwiches vs Donuts
This client was pondering whether to purchase Quinoz master franchise for Thailand or not? I did his market studies in 15 minutes. First I called one of my friends who happen to be a friend of the Au Bon Pain owners. At the time, Au Bon Pain, income structure was 70% drinks and 30% food only. Then I opened two websites on my computer and asked all my employees of the time to select which place they wanted to go and eat. First one was of course Quiznos and the second one that was a donuts franchise. Unfortunately none of them chose Quiznos. Then to make my point I finally mentioned to the client that sandwiches franchises are only present in Thailand where there are a lot of foreigners. In fine you only find subways shop in Thailand in area such as Pattaya, Phuket or in Bangkok in the Sukhumvit Silom area. I also observed that the other sandwiches franchise in Thailand (which name is on the tip of my tongue) had simply disappeared.
Chose your Market
The first thing to consider when starting a food related business in Thailand is who your market is. Do you target foreign or Thai palates? Because some foods related businesses just don’t work with Thai. French restaurants that are quite successful everywhere else in Asia are a bomb in Thailand and I have seen 100 million baht of investment blew on French kind of Titanic’s restaurant sinking a few months or even weeks after their launch. The biggest failure was the Cyrano a restaurant that I was told was open at a staggering cost of 40,000,000 THB and that stay in business a few months before to become a Japanese restaurant.
Thai People Palate
Thai people like conviviality and sharing food and unfortunately French restaurants are often pompous and sharing French food is not as fun as sharing a pizza or a plate of pasta (which explain why Italian restaurants are quite successful in Thailand).
Knowing what you are doing
Secondly many French restaurants are opened by investors who are not restaurant professionals (but even professionals can fail) while Italian or Japanese restaurants are always opened by professionals. And one of the think I repeat again and again you cannot open a business if you don’t know the basic. Even opening a bar required special knowledge’s.
So you want to open a business in Thailand, you are not really interested by the bar business then the next best thing is the food/snack sector providing as I was illustrating above that you know the basics of the business. In need of ideas to start your own franchise just contact us we can assist you with this as well