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MK Restaurant group expands into VN
Following over a decade of success in Japan, MK Restaurant is aiming its overseas expansion next at Vietnam, where the first of 10 franchised MK suki restaurants planned for the next three years will open in November

"Each restaurant in Vietnam will cost around Bt8 million to Bt10 million, making a total investment of Bt100 million in the next three years," executive vice president Somchai Hanjitkasem said yesterday.

Vietnam is the second country after Japan for the franchise, he said.

Gigate, the company's local partner in Vietnam, has to open and operate at least 10 restaurants within three years under the franchise contract.

"The figures set are for the break-even point of investment as targeted," he said.

After three years the company will review business conditions and all the branches.


Space rental rates in Vietnam are now higher than in Thailand. That will be a big hurdle for the company and its partners - to find the proper locations on reasonable terms, Somchai said.

The company might review its overseas expansion drive after experiencing the high rental rates for land in Vietnam. It will strengthen its domestic market first, he said.


MK Restaurant runs 300 restaurants in Thailand.

The political instability and economic downturn have crimped domestic sales in the first half of this year. The company had targeted 8-per-cent growth in the period, but only recorded growth of 5 per cent.

"Our restaurants in the provinces that are tourist destinations, like Pattaya, Phuket and Hat Yai, were affected substantially because of the plunge in arrivals," he said.


The growth in sales came more from new restaurants than existing restaurants, he said.


This year MK Restaurant opened 15 branches in Thailand.

MK is spending Bt15 million to launch a marketing campaign called "Keep You Pleased and Hold Your Breath for Gold Prizes", with lucky draws offering 3,600 prizes worth over Bt8 million in total.

The new campaign is expected to increase the frequency of customer visits and boost sales in the remaining months of this year.

The company hopes to achieve its domestic sales target of Bt900 million this year, up by 10 per cent from last year.

(The Nation Business)

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