Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), the operator of cafe and bakery chain 85°C (85度C), is set to launch a new franchise chain model, replacing its current volunteer chain system, in a bid to develop into a global brand in the long term.
The company plans to transform 299 of its 336 stores in Taiwan — which are currently under the “volunteer chain model” — into franchise chain outlets within three years.
Under the current volunteer chain system, Gourmet Master only licenses the brand and plays the role of product supplier, with each store manager taking full responsibility for the profits and losses, as well as investments.
However, in a franchise chain model, the company will share the investments, as well as earnings and losses, with every franchisee, while gaining more control over store quality.
“The strategy is an important step in helping the company strengthen its brand image to become a powerful brand,” Gourmet Master chief executive officer James Hsieh (謝健南) told a press conference.
The company has 776 direct-operating and licensed stores under the 85°C brand in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Australia and the US.
Hsieh said that the company is also considering introducing the franchise chain model in its Chinese outlets, which all belong to direct-operating stores.
Gourmet Master posted NT$1.29 billion (US$42.54 million) in consolidated sales last month, up 15.64 percent from a year earlier, but down 9.82 percent from January, the company said in a statement.
Separately, the Tai Tong Food & Beverage Group (TTFB, 瓦城泰統集團), which operates three restaurant chains with nearly 62 outlets in Taiwan and China, yesterday said that its consolidated sales last month were its highest ever because of its continued expansion and strong seasonal demand after the Lunar New Year holiday.
TTFB posted NT$261.02 million in consolidated revenue last month, up 17 percent from a year earlier and 3.94 percent from a month earlier, the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Wowprime Corp (王品集團), which owns 14 restaurant chains with a total of 364 outlets in Taiwan and China, saw consolidated sales reach NT$1.505 billion last month, marking the second-highest level ever, the statement said.