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Japan to get its first Mr. Jones' Orphanage franchise store

Krit Srichawla

Krit Srichawla

Following the opening of its first Mr. Jones' Orphanage bakery house locally on Soi Thonglor two years ago, Evolution Capital yesterday revealed the first overseas expansion of its own bakery restaurant brand with the first franchise store to be opened in Japan in July this year.

The company has signed a franchise agreement with Q's Dining Inc to open Mr. Jones' Orphanage in Japan.

In addition, the company is concluding a deal to acquire a firm, which owns about 10 different restaurant brands, in Japan with annual revenue of between Bt500 million and Bt600 million.

The acquisition proposal will be submitted for approval at its shareholders' meeting in the beginning of next month.

Evolution Capital plans to increase business contribution by overseas markets to between 90 per cent and 95 per cent within the next five years. The company will also open its first food factory in Wang Noi district of Ayutthaya at a cost of Bt30 million. The factory, which will start operations within the next one or two months, will supply food and materials to its major restaurants, including Domino's Pizza, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Mr. Jones' Orphanage.

The first 150-square metre Mr. Jones' Orphanage bakery house will be opened in Sapporo, Japan, in July at a cost of Bt30 million, ahead of a countrywide rollout.

The Japanese franchisee Q's Dining Inc is committed to open at least 14 Mr. Jones' Orphanage bakery houses in other key cities in Japan, including Tokyo, within the next three years.

Krit Srichawla, chairman of Evolution Capital, said that the company would conclude agreements with potential franchisees in three major markets - Hong Kong, Dubai, and Malaysia, by the end of this year.

"With the commitment of our potential franchisees, we plan to open about four Mr. Jones' Orphanage franchised bakery restaurants in Hong Kong within the first 12 months. We will also open four to six restaurants in Dubai in the first year and another three to four restaurants in Malaysia," he said.

"Starting from next year, we want to open between 30 and 40 Mr. Jones' Orphanage restaurants annually in Thailand and other potential markets in Asia Pacific. We will separate Mr. Jones' Orphanage as a new profit-making subsidiary, namely Mr. Jones' International, under our group.

The new company will be responsible for overseas expansion as well as the brand building activities," said Krit.

Krit said that the launch of Mr. Jones' Orphanage is the brand's first foray abroad, and comes at a time when Mr. Jones' Orphanage is poised to add branches in Thailand beyond its outlets at Seen Space Thonglor and on the 3rd floor of Siam Center.

Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Evolution Capital has been focused on rapidly growing consumer sectors in Asia. These sectors are primarily the food and beverage business segment, where the current brand portfolio includes the local franchise of Domino's Pizza, KyoChon, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Thailand, as well as Magnolia Bakery in Japan.

The company has operated budget hotels through its investment in Red Planet Hotels, the franchisee of Tune Hotels in five countries in Asia, comprising Thailand, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea. Four Tune Hotels have already been opened in Bangkok, Hat Yai, Phuket, and Pattaya and another 20 hotels are under construction in Thailand and four other markets.




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