KT Restaurant in foreign push – Bangkok Post

Restaurant News
Santa Fe at Terminal 21 Korat. The chain opened a second Phnom Penh branch last week. Photo courtesy of Wongnai
Santa Fe at Terminal 21 Korat. The chain opened a second Phnom Penh branch last week. Photo courtesy of Wongnai

KT Restaurant Co, the operator of Santa Fe steakhouses, is set to beef up its overseas expansion next year, notably in Asean.

Chaiphat Pirawattanakorn, the company’s vice-president for marketing, said a local franchisee, Sopheavorn Investment Co, had a grand opening of the second Santa Fe restaurant in Phnom Penh at Chip Mong Noro Mall last week. The first branch in Phnom Penh received good feedback from customers.

Santa Fe started its overseas expansion via the franchise system last year.

“Expansion into Cambodia is very promising, as the steak restaurant business has less competition there,” Mr Chaiphat said. “The lifestyle of Cambodians has changed rapidly over the past few years. Several restaurant operators, both Thai and international chains, have established a presence there, and most of them are very successful.”

Because Santa Fe is a young operator in Cambodia, the company will focus on building brand awareness among Cambodians.

“Though there are many international restaurants there, we are confident about competing in the market because we have a flat organisation that allows us to become flexible in business management and swiftly adjust our strategy,” Mr Chaiphat said.

The company has been contacted by several foreign investors in Asean, asking to open restaurants in their countries, he said.

Mr Chaiphat said the company is studying market opportunities and obstacles in all markets, with plans to open at least one Santa Fe steak restaurant in an Asean country and have a total of five Santa Fe restaurants in Asean over the next five years.

For the domestic market, the company plans to open 20 new restaurants next year. KT Restaurant runs 112 restaurants, with the latest having opened Saturday at Tesco Lotus in Saraburi province.

Of the total branches, half are under franchise operation and half are KT’s own investment. Some 40% of customers are families and 60% are working people and students.

Thailand’s steak market is estimated to be worth 10 million baht, with major brands including Jeffer and Sizzler.

KT Restaurant’s sales are forecast to reach 1.85 billion baht in 2019, up 15% from last year. The company expects sales to grow by 20% in 2020.

Source: Thanks https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1822069/kt-restaurant-in-foreign-push