Sarku Japan To Expand To Vietnam

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vietnam, the second fastest growing economy in emerging Asia, is a new target for quick-service development. The country has a population of 85 million and a booming consumer class due to the rising middle class and an increase in urbanization and incomes. According to TNS' Fast Food Lifestyle Survey 2007, covering Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the QSR market is flourishing with six out of 10 urban consumers eating out daily.

Sarku Japan, the largest Japanese QSR chain in the United States, has announced its first international franchise debut with a multi-year franchise agreement in Vietnam. The company has signed an agreement with Gami Group, one of the largest and oldest private business groups in that country, planning to open 10 to 12 Sarku Japan Teriyaki and Sushi Express restaurants within the next three years.

"We are excited to be expanding the reach of the Sarku Japan brand and entering into our first international franchise relationship," said Ben Kitay, president, Sarku Japan, in a news release. "Our partner, Gami Group, brings years of proven experience introducing new brands to Vietnam, while ensuring high standards and an exemplary experience for our new customers abroad." Successful for more than 20 years within mall food courts throughout the United States, Sarku Japan recently introduced Teriyaki and Sushi Express, its new stand-alone concept and QSR franchise opportunity. With its authentic Japanese cuisine, contemporary, state-of-the-art store design and a franchise program based on its proven business model, Sarku Japan forecasts 1,000 new units to open in the domestically and abroad over the next 10 years.

Other chains focusing on growth in Vietnam include regional burger chain Carl's Jr., which announced in February it expected to open its first store in that country this month, and Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

Yum! executives said on the company's recent earnings call that Vietnam is among the emerging markets the company is targeting for growth. Yum!'s international strategy also includes other emerging markets such as Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia.

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