ThaiBev focuses on overhauling the food business


Thai Beverage (ThaiBev), the Singapore-listed agri-food company, has accelerated the transformation of its food business group to overcome the pandemic with the goal of becoming the market leader in the food chain in Thailand by 2025.

Nongnuch Buranasetkul, senior vice president and head of the food business, said to survive the pandemic, the company has shifted strategy over the past two years from marketing to operations and location.

The marketing teams were dismantled to rethink the sector and reflect on the development of new products for its food business through three channels: on-site, take-out and delivery.

She said the new restaurants will now be located outside of shopping malls in smaller sizes, with designs that meet customer demand for catering, take-out and delivery.

“The mindset of staff for doing business has evolved into a sense of entrepreneurship or ownership, working smarter and researching methods of recruiting new clients in order to generate profit. They must be prepared to adapt to changing business situations, ”Ms. Nongnuch said.

She said the company will continue to open at least 15-20 new restaurants per year between 2022 and 2025 through existing and new models to meet customer demand.

“With fixed costs rising amid the protracted pandemic, we will not invest as heavily as in the past, using a more flexible model with technology to improve service in stores. Nongnuch said.

ThaiBev continued to open restaurants during the pandemic, bringing its total to 649 in 2020 from 620 branches in 2019.

For its 2020 fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2021, it opened 24 new restaurants, 90% of which are located outside shopping complexes.

The company operates 673 restaurants.

Of that total, 378 are operated by The QSR of Asia Co, operating KFC fast food outlets, 255 by Oishi Food Group, and the remaining 40 stores by Food of Asia Co.

ThaiBev has 23 food brands in its portfolio, comprising both franchisees and its own brands. They include KFC, Oishi, So asean, Cafe Chilli, Baan Suriyasai, Mx cake & bakery and Hyde & Seek restaurant.

Sales of the company’s food business reached 11.7 billion baht in fiscal 2020, accounting for 6% of total revenue which topped 192 billion. This is an increase of 1.1% over the previous year.

“With our strategies, we aim to become the first food chain in Thailand by 2025, against the third now,” she said.

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