WeEat to open Tim Hortons branches
The Wattanavekin family, a player in sectors as varied as banking, hotels and sugar, has diversified again by bringing Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee shop, to Thailand.
WeEat Co, owned by Supatchara Wattanavekin, recently won exclusive rights from Restaurant Brands International Inc (RBI), owner of quick-service restaurant brands like Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes, to open Tim Hortons branches in Thailand.
Mr Supatchara, WeEat's chief executive, said the first Tim Hortons shop will officially open on the ground floor of the Samyan Mitrtown complex in a 352-square-metre space this Saturday.
“I’d found Tim Hortons during visits to Canada in the past decade," he said. "I as well used to visit Tim Hortons in many other countries, including China and the Philippines. With a similar business vision, we decided to open this coffee chain in Thailand.”
Mr Supatchara said the opening of Tim Hortons is part of the Wattanavekin family's plan to extend its business scope to food retailing.
Thailand is the third country in Asia for Tim Hortons and 14th country worldwide.
Tim Hortons is one of North America's biggest restaurant chains in the quick-service segment. Founded in 1964 by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton, the brand has over 4,850 restaurants worldwide.
The Wattanavekin's business interests include Kiatnakin Bank, Erawan Group and Eastern Sugar and Cane Co.
“WeEat and RBI are confident in the growth opportunity of the Thai coffee market, estimated to be worth 36 billion baht," Mr Supatchara said. "We’d seen a continuous growth of 13% per year in Thailand’s quick-service restaurant industry between 2012 and 2017 of which the coffee segment has grown at an even faster rate, 22% between 2016 to 2018, according to Euromonitor.”
He said that despite strong growth in the coffee business the past few years, few world-class coffee chains comparable to Tim Hortons have been established in Thailand.
Tim Hortons will offer many of its classic food and drink products alongside brand-new ones tailored to the Thai market, including iced beverages, freshly baked options such as doughnuts, muffins, croissants, cookies and sandwiches. Premium lunch offerings include BBQ Pulled Pork Panini Sandwich and Tuna Grilled Cheese Melt.
According to Euromonitor, 8,025 coffee shops operated in Thailand in 2018, up 4.6% from 2017. Thailand’s overall coffee market was estimated to be worth 36 billion baht.
Of the total coffee market, about 21.13 billion baht belongs to instant coffee, 1.2 billion baht to the premium market and the rest to other segments.
Key players driving coffee consumption include All Cafe of CP All Plc, Cafe Amazon and Starbucks.