The restaurant group of Mango Tree and COCA has revealed how they have expanded so successfully over the past 10 years to be on schedule to achieve 100 outlets worldwide by 2015.
Speaking at a packed session during the Taiwan International Chain and Franchise Forum held in Taipei International Convention Centre, Mango Tree and COCA Restaurants Worldwide Managing Director Trevor MacKenzie saidthe company’s focus on brand, product innovation and partnerships had been at the root of its winning formula.
“Global expansion for us has been hard work. There are no easy routes or short cuts,” said MacKenzie. “But what has been absolutely central to our development is the brand and ensuring that we have high quality and consistent brand standards in place that support our positioning and build our reputation.”
In January, MacKenzie revealed to this magazine that the company is batting for 12 outlets in the next two years.
MacKenzie, who has surprised many by his ability as a westerner to understand an Asian product so well and take it global, said the story for him was one of passion.
“Meeting Mango Tree was a destiny story that I have used to inspire other franchisors I meet, and other entrepreneurs,” he said. “I saw an opportunity and Mango Tree owner Pitaya and I shared the same vision.”
MacKenzie added that the ability to find, develop and grow with the right partners in all markets was another essential element to get right, not just the ones with the best locations — which was obviously important — but with partners that shared the same vision.
“Sometimes you just have to go with your instinct. The numbers look good and you are in the game for new partners. You want to do a deal. But there is something that feels right or wrong sometimes — and this can also be the difference between success and failure. There are times you just have to go with your gut.”
Next month the Thai hospitality group will open its premium Mango Tree restaurant brand in Washington DC, followed by its new Mango Tree flagship on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok in December and a Mango Tree restaurant in Mumbai, India in January.
Next year, the group will look to expand in the mature, world-city dining markets in Europe, such as Milan, Copenhagen and Barcelona — adding to its outlet in London — and Australia where the group is eying partners in Sydney. (PRESS RELEASE)