International franchises seek foothold in Vietnam

Johnny Rockets, an American restaurant franchise is seeking area developers for expansion into Vietnam.The move is part of the company’s expansion plans in Southeast Asia.

The brand is also seeking partners for expansion into Thailand and Hong Kong. Earlier this year, Johnny Rockets announced a 100-restaurant agreement in China, the largest expansion in the company’s history.

“The popularity of American culture and cuisine in Southeast Asian countries is the driving force behind our current success and growth in these markets,” said James Walker, president of operations and development at Johnny Rockets. “Due to Thailand’s and Vietnam’s customer base and proximity to other Southeast Asian countries where we operate, we see huge potential for the brand, and we are actively seeking franchise partners looking for development opportunities.”

In a related development, seafood restaurant chain Manhattan Fish Market has shown interest in Vietnam. Talking with VIR, Deric Yeo, franchise development manager of Manhattan Fish Market, said that Vietnam was an emerging market with advantages based on its political stability, competitive workforce, gradually more open and transparent business environment, abundant natural resources, and good geographical position.

Yeo said his company saw the vast potential offered by Vietnam’s huge seafood resources. He believed seafood franchises could prove to be popular, healthy choices with consumers, and the overall brand could benefit from access to the country’s ample seafood products.

According to VF Franchise Consulting, a leading franchising and licensing consulting company with offices in Vietnam and Singapore, foreign franchising will continue to boom in Vietnam as firms continue to eye new ways to enter the market. Recent enquiries show continued interest in brands such as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Denny’s, and Manhattan Fish Market.

This year, Vietnam’s franchise market is expected to continue to show the growth of around 20%-25% with a few large, international brands and many smaller Asian brands entering the market.


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