Caffe Bene sees growth in SE Asia

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Caffe Bene sees growth in SE Asia

Local coffeehouse chain Caffe Bene said yesterday it is entering the markets in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore through a master franchise agreement.

Caffe Bene plans to establish a separate company - Asia Caffee Bene - in cooperation with Malaysian investment company BT Capital to open stores in the three countries by the end of the year. Master franchising grants business rights to local operators in exchange for payment of commission fees and royalties.

Accordingly, Caffe Bene is opening stores in five Southeast Asian countries, including?its existing business in the Philippines and the one scheduled to open in?Indonesia this month.

It plans to accelerate its initiative in Southeast Asia, where the potential for growth is high and eating out is common with strong restaurant culture.

The company?has set a goal of opening five stores in Brunei and Malaysia within a year and 15 stores within three years.

In Singapore, demand for coffee has been steadily increasing based on a high level of national income. Caffe Bene has set a goal of opening three stores there within a year and 10 stores within three years. And the company plans to provide a menu and services tailored to Singapore.

“As entering the markets of Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore has been confirmed, we will be able to showcase our own unique cafe culture in the countries in Southeast Asia,” said a spokesman for Caffe Benne.

“We plan to properly combine our specific concept and localization by thoroughly analyzing the characteristics of consumers and markets of each country. We will continue to stably settle down in these markets by cooperating with local businesses and ensuring the network.”

The company currently operates six stores in the United States, 55 stores in China and two stores in the Philippines.

Within the month it is opening its first stores in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Caffe Bene, which was founded in April 2008, grew at an exceptional rate and has held the No. 1 spot in the industry since 2010. However, this year it has given the top spot to rival Angel-in-Us. There are roughly more than 820 Caffe Bene shops across the country.

BY kim jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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