Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Taiwanese teashop chain and Japanese firm partner

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese teashop company La Kaffa International Co (六角國際事業) is expanding into restaurants, teaming up with a Japanese firm to offer what it is calling “the most authentic” Japanese pork chops in Taiwan.

La Kaffa’s first Wagokoro Tonkatsu Anzu restaurant — the brand owned by Japanese company ATOM Co — opened in Taipei yesterday. A second one is scheduled to open later this week, and is to be followed by another six to eight this year and 20 to 30 more over the next three years.

There is great potential in Taiwan’s pork chops market, which is estimated at nearly US$100 million annually, La Kaffa president Henry Wang (王耀輝) said at yesterday’s opening ceremony.

“This is a milestone for the company,” Wang said.

The restaurant opening came on the 10th anniversary of the founding of La Kaffa’s successful Chatime teashop chain.

The chain now has outlets in 80 cities in more than 25 countries and regions, and if the partnership with ATOM Co works out well, the companies will expand their restaurant business further, Wang said.

ATOM president Toshiki Hanada said plans are already under way for the two companies to open a Wagokoro Tonkatsu Anzu restaurant in Shanghai, China, in June.

The restaurant chain, which incorporates the Japanese word for pork chops, tonkatsu, has been in Taiwan for almost eight years, but ATOM said its sales agent has not been delivering the authentic brand flavor.

When the contract with that agent expires next year, its five restaurants in Taiwan will be closed, ATOM said.

To distinguish its restaurants from the five originals, La Kaffa has added “Ginzu” to their names: “Wagokoro Tonkatsu Ginza Anzu.”

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