Thai restaurant operator Mango Tree Worldwide has announced an expansion programme that will double its branded restaurants and cafes in the Philippines to 12 by next year.
The firm says it is extremely bullish on the long-term potential of the Philippines as it embraces healthy and stylish Thai food.
Manila currently hosts the flagship Mango Tree Restaurant in Bonifacio Global City, two Mango Tree Bistrobars – one in Trinoma, Quezon City, and the other in Green Belt 5 in Makati – and one Mango Tree Cafe in SM South Mall Food Street in Las Pinas City.
Soon to open will be another outlet by Mango Tree holding company Exquisine Co through the popular COCA brand, with a COCA Cafe in SM Jazz Makati to add to the existing COCA Restaurant in an upscale mall called SM Aura in Taguig City.
By late this month, Mango Tree will have six outlets in Manila, establishing itself as the largest Thai restaurant operation in the Philippines.
Mango Tree Worldwide’s Bangkok-based chief executive officer, celebrity chef Pitaya Phonphansophon, said he was delighted to see the group’s brands going from strength to strength in the Philippines.
The chain is also preparing to make its first foray into the US market with a restaurant in Washington, DC, next year, while the group also eyes locations in China.
Pitaya, whose father founded the company 57 years ago in Bangkok, was in Manila to celebrate Mango Tree’s success in the Philippines, and to announce plans for growth.
He said the group’s achievement had been no accident.
“Our success is down to choosing great partners, having a unique concept, a sound strategy and, above all, a team which believes in itself.”
Pitaya, a regular fixture in international magazine columns and a keen amateur blogger, who performed a live cooking demonstration at the anniversary event, said Thai food was the fastest-growing Asian cuisine, securing loyal fans worldwide.
Trevor MacKenzie, the group’s managing director and the driving force behind Mango Tree’s franchising programme worldwide, said the Philippines had played a major role in the group’s growth.
“We now have over 70 restaurants in 15 countries worldwide and look forward to continuing to grow in the Philippines in locations outside of Manila and further extend our leadership position in a very important market.”
MacKenzie said that among the twists on Thai culinary tradition were dishes such as tom yam scampi, grill-your-own satays with a tabletop open-flame grill, pomelo salad with fresh prawns and grated coconut, and char-grilled ribeye with Isaan chilli dipping sauce.