Published on February 20, 2008
Of the 400 franchises operating here, 20 per cent are seen as having high export potential. Total revenue for the franchise industry reached Bt67 billion last year.
Export Promotion Department director-general Rachane Potjanasuntorn said Japan was a major export market for Thai franchises through the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement.
To promote the industry, the department, in cooperation with the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), has invited 20 franchise operators to promote their businesses in Japan from March 10-14. The operators include Black Canyon, S&P, Eazy, Neo Sukiyaki and Iberry ice cream. The purpose of the trip will be to create joint ventures in Japan.
Jetro said three Thai business sectors - food, spas and entertainment - showed the greatest export potential, but food in particular. So far, Thai cuisine ranks fifth in popularity, after Chinese, Italian, French and Korean.
The most popular Thai dishes in Japan include green curry, tomyam kung, phat thai, yam wunsen (spicy jelly noodle) and phat kraphao.
Jetro also advised Thai operators to open lower-end business. Most Thai restaurants in Japan are focused on five-star service and top prices. Refocusing on more affordable family-oriented businesses should attract more customers.
"Thai restaurant operators should provide more menu items for children instead of concentrating on standard food. It would be better to offer more sweet items," Jetro said.