CPF makes aggressive 'street food' moves
SET-listed Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) is ramping up its street food business and aims to open up to 500 branches of its new Iron Pan quick-service restaurants (QSRs) over the next five years.
Sunthorn Jaksukan, senior vice-president of CPF Restaurant and Food Chain, a CPF subsidiary, said street food still has a lot of potential, with a few street food chains operating in the market.
"We introduced the Iron Pan brand during the outbreak and found consumer response to be very positive. We needed only six months to break even," he said.
According to Mr Sunthorn, the company plans to open about 100 Iron Pan outlets a year over the next five years.
Founded in 2018 with initial registered capital of 200 million baht, CPF Restaurant and Food Chain handles the expansion of CPF's potential food categories under the Five Star food brand, restaurant business (Chester's and Five Star), food courts (Food World) and catering business.
There are about 5,000 branches of various food brands under Five Star Group including Five Star grilled and fried chicken; Five Star chicken rice; Five roasted duck "Chao Sua"; Star Coffee and the latest Iron Pan.
According to Mr Sunthorn, Five Star's business has been restructured over the last few years from street kiosks to QSRs to create an option for the middle class.
There are 460 Five Star QSRs. For the original Five Star kiosk, the company will cap the number at 4,000 branches across the country.
"The presence of Five Star QSRs has raised the image of Five Star and drawn a new generation to continue this business as franchisees," said Mr Sunthorn. "With this new image, we expect to see up to 6,000-7,000 Five Star outlets in Thailand established in the future."
Sathit Sangkanarub, chief operating officer of CPF, said earlier with the establishment of CPF Restaurant and Food Chain, the group aims to boost overall restaurant numbers under Charoen Pokphand Group, the parent firm, to 50,000 branches in the long term.
Mr Sathit said CPF Restaurant and Food Chain aims to beef up its beverage business after branching into the beverage sector in 2018.
CPF Restaurant and Food Chain operates 100 Star Coffee shops across the country. It plans to open 100 new Star Coffee shops every year going forward.