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Asian fast food

Food & Drink

'Native' Asian restaurant chains that may well make it big: cases and ideas from Hong Kong , Bangkok and The Philippines.

‘Native’ Asian restaurant chains that may well make it big

Tasty and healthy, pan-Asian food has never been more popular. Wok and noodle bars are popping up all over the world, be it, often, with a very modest roll-out strategy. Eager to know which one will eventually turn out to be the Asian equivalent of Burger King or KFC? Some of the truly ‘native’ Asian chains you should keep an eye on: Philippine fast food player Jollibee, which has 400 burger restaurants in the Philippines, has high hopes for its Chinese fast food chain Chowking. Not only is it rapidly expanding in the Philippines, but outlets are now in operation on the West Coast of the US, and a Dubai restaurant is in the pipeline. Hong Kong based Café de Coral, an up-market Chinese fast food chain with more than 100 restaurants in the Hong Kong region, is set to conquer Mainland China, with branches popping up in special economic zones and coastal cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Guangzhou, and regional town centers of Foshan and Jiangmen. It also has restaurants in Canada, where it bought the Manchu Wok chain in 2000, and in the US, where it operates under the China Inn, Fan Ting and Dai Bai Dang brands. According to their website, Café de Coral is more than interested in discussing franchising, JVs and other partnering business opportunities. Thai Mango Chili goes after the fast-rice and noodle crowd in Thailand and beyond. It is owned by Thai Exquisine System and offers quick khao gaeng style meals (rice with a sauce-based topping) in its proto-type fast food restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. So far, Mango Chili has received interest from franchisees in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, India and Saudi Arabia. A second concept outlet is being developed in Malaysia (source: Bangkok Post). And last but not least, MTR Foods (Bangalore, India), which hopes to become the ‘McDonald’s of Indian food’, is rolling out Indian fast food restaurants in Bangalore, Delhi, Bombay and Chennai this year (source: NYT). The company also has a sizable instant and frozen foods business. J.P. Morgan liked the idea so much they took a 28% stake. So, whether you’re an investor, an established fast food giant, a beer/soda distributor, or a budding fast food entrepreneur interested in representing these companies in your country of residence, there are plenty of spicy initiatives to get you going in this space.


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