Redsun ITI turns F&B into a franchise feast

February 27, 2018 | 17:00
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With Vietnam’s food franchise market becoming more robust in recent years, Redsun ITI has emerged as a key player with 15 chains and 170 restaurants nationwide. Le Vu Minh, the company’s vice president of Franchising, R&D, and International Relations, told VIR’s Thanh Van about the firm’s operations and its franchising strategy.
redsun iti turns fb into a franchise feast
Redsun ITI is expanding its brands through franchising opportunities

Can you tell us about Redsun ITI and its plans to lead the market?

Founded in 2008, Redsun ITI manages and operates several restaurant brands including King BBQ, King BBQ Buffet, ThaiExpress, Seoul Garden, Khao Lao, Hotpot Story, Sushi Kei, and Capricciosa. Since 2015, Redsun ITI has maintained an upward trajectory with annual growth rates between 40 and 60 per cent.

To retain its leading position in the market, Redsun ITI has set a target to have 450 restaurants by 2021, 40 per cent of which will be franchised. It means the company will add one to two franchise chains and 60-70 restaurants to the market each year.

Redsun ITI recently built a plant in Ho Chi Minh City’s Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park with the capacity to serve 250 restaurants by 2020. Our second plant will be put into service in Hanoi in December, to cater to the northern market. Both plants will also serve as manpower training centres to supply employees to restaurants.

What is the role of franchising in Redsun ITI’s expansion plan and which food franchises are managed by the company?

Franchising is our long-term strategy in Vietnam’s food and beverage (F&B) market. In the first three years of our development, we bought four international brands including Thai Express and Seoul Garden. However, it often takes time to seek franchise owners’ approval to adjust the concept to suit Vietnamese tastes. Thus, Redsun ITI decided to create its own restaurant franchises to take advantage of the market’s opportunities. The company aims to develop its chains to reach at least 10 restaurants each in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City before seeking franchisees.

Redsun ITI launched its first franchise concept, named King BBQ, in 2011 and began to offer franchise opportunities in 2014. After just over three years, King BBQ has secured a strong presence in the market with 75 restaurants nationwide, 15 per cent of which are franchised restaurants.

On the back of this success, Redsun ITI introduced a second concept known as Hotpot Story in 2017. The company has already sold Hotpot Story franchises after opening 10 restaurants each in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In the near future, Redsun ITI will focus on Laotian and Japanese restaurant chains, namely Khao Lao and Sushi Kei.

As a leading player in the market, how do you promote the development of food franchises?

One of the key factors to advance the trend is to localise international concepts to fit local tastes. With a deep understanding of the local market as well as its culinary traditions and tastes, Redsun ITI has made minor adjustments to achieve authentic flavours of international cuisine.

In fact, Redsun ITI invests 10 per cent of its monthly revenue in research and development activities. The company has also partnered with foreign culinary experts to develop new concepts, ingredients, and dishes.

Furthermore, Redsun ITI is expanding brands through franchising opportunities. We are looking for franchisees with a shared vision for long-term development. Franchisees not only have to invest time, money, and effort in their restaurants, but must also show interest in the F&B sector.

How do franchisees benefit from the partnership with Redsun ITI?

Besides investing in R&D activities for unique recipes, Redsun ITI has established a complete supply chain to help franchisees consolidate success. The company has sourced a large amount of raw materials and ingredients, which helps franchisees lower production costs.

Raw materials are processed in the factories with strict requirements to ensure food quality and consistency. Meanwhile, we have established a logistics network to transport raw materials to franchise restaurants across the nation.

Further, we will not only support franchisees in finding and evaluating potential locations, but also share marketing strategy to promote the restaurants. The company has provided training for key personnel in its franchised restaurant.

On top of that, we have guidelines for them to replicate the menu, service, and ambiance in other locations. Franchisees will also receive training with regular audits to ensure smooth operations that meet Redsun ITI standards.

What is the company’s plan for Shop & Store Vietnam 2018?

Shop & Store Vietnam is an industry event that defines new business concepts for retail and franchising. The first edition, organised by Reed Tradex, will take place during March 28-30, 2018 in the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City.

Redsun ITI aims to bring more franchising opportunities to potential partners and investors. We will also share our extensive experience and insights into developing and managing food franchises in the Vietnamese market.

We hope that Shop & Store Vietnam will become an annual event to promote the franchising trend in Vietnam’s F&B market.

Hopefully, the market will not only attract international brands, but also bring Vietnamese franchises to the global market.

By Thanh Van

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