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TGI Fridays plans to expand across SEA

F&B restaurant TGI Fridays is looking to expand in Asia over the next 10 years with 75 new stores. This latest development is part of TGI Fridays’ strategic global expansion strategy.

The expansion into South and Southeast Asia will be in partnership with Master Franchisor Universal Success Enterprises. The company added that the deal, which is expected to drive over US$500 million in revenue for the firm over the next decade, is touted to be the most significant development agreement to date for the brand. TGI Fridays also said that it is seeing “unmatched growth worldwide” with same-store sales growing at an average of 23% globally.

“We’re excited to expand the TGI Fridays brand and footprint in South and Southeast Asia,” said Prasoon Mukherjee, chairman, Universal Success Enterprises. “Our deep experience in the hospitality industry, understanding of what consumers in our markets crave and real estate development expertise uniquely positions Universal Success Enterprises to drive unprecedented growth for the brand. Personally, I began my restaurant career with TGI Fridays over 30 years as a kitchen manager – and am thrilled to be sharing the brand experience with consumers across the region.”

Universal Success Enterprises is headquartered in Singapore. The multinational company has a proven track record within the restaurant industry in Asia, introducing new restaurant brands and concepts to the region. Today, the company has three TGI Fridays locations in India and previously introduced Outback Steakhouse to key markets in South and Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“We’re thrilled to bring the TGI Fridays brand – and experience – to new markets and consumers in Asia through our expanded partnership with Universal Success Enterprises,” said Ray Blanchette, chief executive officer at TGI Fridays. “Universal Success Enterprises is a valued partner – their deep experience in the marketplace and proven track record of excellence with TGI Fridays coupled with our successful local market approach will ensure the brand – and our menu offerings – are relevant to consumers.”

Meanwhile, Taco Bell is also looking to invest in Southeast Asia, most specifically in Malaysia. Taco Bell Malaysia’s franchise operator, Harris Beh, said it is very heartening to have reached a  momentous milestone of its 10th outlet in Malaysia as the brand saw an “overwhelming response from fans all over Malaysia”.

Similarly, Subway also focused its energy on the Malaysia market as it inked an agreement with Pegacorn to open 500 new locations across Peninsular Malaysia over the next 10 years. This would triple the number of Subway restaurants in the market and steadily increases the annual restaurant count. According to Subway, this partnership is the third of its kind for the brand in Southeast Asia, following recent master franchise agreements in Indonesia and Thailand, and will significantly increase the total future restaurant commitment in the region. Pegacorn has been a partner to Subway in Malaysia since 2019.

The investment in Asia by global brands come as Asia stands poised become the largest region in the global food market, with its market share growing from 42% in 2014 to 50% in 2020. According to a report on Temasek published in 2021, consumers will spend an additional US$4.4 trillion on food over the next 10 years, as massive demographic changes and evolving consumer needs drive up demand for larger quantities and better quality food. Asia will add another 250 million new citizens, equivalent to Indonesia’s population, by 2030. These 4.5 billion people across Asia will consume more and become more discerning about their food choices. The region’s affluence is growing and 65% of the world’s middle-class population will reside in Asiain 10 years.


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