Zen Group announces an ambitious plan to sharpen five affiliated businesses with cutting-edge strategies that respond and cover both Thai and foreign consumers, targets 4.5 Bn in 2023
ZEN Corporation Group Public Company Limited. or ZEN Group, the food business leader in Thailand, reveals its success in 2022 through operations in 5 core business areas: restaurants, franchises, food delivery and e-commerce, and food retail, along with new business investments. The overall business grows by over 51%, with total of 3,413 million baht and the profit of 154 million baht. And, it announces an ambitious plan to sharpen five affiliated businesses with strategies that truly respond to consumers’ need. This plan includes branch expansion plans for affiliated restaurants and franchises in Thailand and abroad as well as an expansion of the retail food industry’s distribution channels, all of which aim to reach 4.5 billion baht in 2023.
Mr. Boonyong Tansakul, Chief Executive Officer of ZEN Group, (The second person from the left in the above photo) reveals businesses within the ZEN Group were able to grow in accordance with the target or up to 3,413 million baht in 2022, which is the highest earn in the history. The accomplishment strengthens ZEN Group’s position as the industry leader in Thailand’s restaurant industry. According to the forecast by Kasikorn Research Center, the total value of the restaurant industry is anticipated to increase by 4.18 to 4.25 billion baht, or approximately 2.7 to 4.5%, from the previous year. Full-service restaurants that are housed in department stores and renowned outlets outside of shopping malls are expected to experience the greatest growth. The forecasts, coupled with good organizational direction and strategic planning, will definitely result in this year’s growth to reach the set goal.
5 Business Pillars and Corporate Direction in 2023
(1) Restaurant Business
With the portion of more than 70% of the entire business, the restaurant can be viewed as the major business of ZEN Group. There are currently more than 10 brands* of restaurants in the chain, with a total of more than 345 branches. In the last year 2022, more than 45 branches—both self-invested and franchised—have been expanded in domestic and foreign areas. ZEN has given this business its full attention as usual. The focus is on growing the income and profit of existing branches, modernizing the business model, and adding more than 90 new branches of each brand within 2023, including both franchised and self-invested branches. Also, it will concentrate on more aggressive marketing approach to spread fun throughout the industry all year round.
*10 brands of restaurants are Zen Japanese restaurant, Zen Box, On the Table Tokyo Cafe’, AKA Passion for Grill, Din’s the Flying Xiao Long Bao, Sushi Cyu Carnival Yakiniku, Tetsu Yakiniku Bar, Tummour the original Thai Food, Lao Yuan, and Khiang Thai Street Food.
Mr. Pree Suvimolthirabutr, Chief of Restaurant Business of ZEN Group, reveals the 2022 branch expansion strategy for the restaurants in ZEN Group was Growth Strategy, which involves opening branches in new areas or expanding to new areas such as in the provinces, main and secondary cities that the company has never been before. More than half of the total branches opened in the previous year are in provinces. As a result, the brand is widely known and covers the whole country. Another part is the restaurant management strategy. The company has expanded the use of standard quality raw materials of some brands to all brands in the group, enabling the company to better manage product costs both in terms of procurement,
efficient branch planning, and branch management. And finally, the technology strategy. Robotics,
QR Ordering/Payment, Cashless, and CRM are the technology the company has implemented to make branch operations more efficient. This has allowed the company to control personnel costs very effectively. With initiatives in every part, it can be said that 2022 was a very successful year. The company achieved the biggest earnings and record sales in the history.
As for 2023, the company intends to continue expanding restaurant branches in the same direction as it did in the previous year, along with the implementation of effective technology in the branch management and making customers more convenient, such as Robot, QR Ordering/Payment, and cashless transactions. It is planned to be applied to all brands and all restaurants.
Mrs. Mayuree Chitrakorn, Chief Marketing Officer of ZEN Group, reveals the company plans to increase the customer base in all dimensions using the Insightful Marketing approach, in accordance with the business expansion of Japanese and Thai brands and franchised brands. This strategy requires not just knowing but also truly understanding the hidden needs of consumers, which comprises of 3 aspects as follows.
>> Insightful Products that help expand new customer bases: We extract insights from both sales data and consumer behavior analysis and develop them to create new products and services. For example, ZEN Restaurant aims to reach out to a group of workers with a variety of needs. It introduces a high-quality Lunch Set menu that satisfies their needs and features a Menu Mix that allows consumers to enjoy two delicious menus in a single set, with an appropriate amount, at an affordable price. For another example, Thai brand, Khiang, introduced their “Kaprao Song Rak (two loves of basil stir fry)” menu. We comprehend that customers want to enjoy a variety of dishes all at once on a limited budget. As a result, the menu features the well-liked pairing of basil stir fry and garlic chicken.
>> Insightful Promotion that understands and reaches new customers: We research consumer behavior from every angle, including when and where they choose to eat. As a result, we can see the potential opportunities for expanding each brand. For instance, Aka Yakiniku is unquestionably the top brand in the hearts of buffet lovers. We started the campaign “Pah Tan Nak Rian” (let’s go eat, students) in order to reach out to buffet lovers who are still in school. We wish to restore their energy at a reasonable cost. We give students discount to come and eat after-school. Also, it uses only the appropriate media to reach them and communicates in a pleasant and enjoyable manner. For Tummour, we introduced the “Ble Krueng (double the ingredient)” promotion. The idea came from our observation that customers often ask to add additional specific ingredients they like. Therefore, the promotion is about adding more ingredients to the popular menu. Plus, the customers can also enjoy the meal by ordering ingredient of their own choices separately.
>> Insightful Communication that communicates in a new way people enjoy: We believe that creating general awareness is not enough. Nowadays, we have to compete with a variety of content in the hands of consumers. So, we figure out how to do it and let them look at our brand. “Call Attention with Engagement” is therefore an important communication strategy we use. It must be a call for consumers to look at us in a way that we comprehend them. At the beginning of the year, ZEN Restaurant launched the campaign “Dear Boss” that invites bosses all over Thailand to give some chance to office workers to get off their computer and go out for a nice lunch at ZEN Restaurant. The campaign aims to create a work-lunch balance for office workers. The “Bento Boss,” an imitation of Top CEOs in Thailand made of rice that has been featured in Thai and international media, has made this campaign a buzz. While, On the Table plans to continue growing their results following the release of Toh Jung, which represent the new generation of young women who help bring the brand on top. It is also getting ready for a lot of collaborative campaigns and fun activities that speak to and comprehend women.
The application of these three aspects places a focus on communication and raising awareness in order to reach to the ideal lifestyle and give brands a unique personality while retaining its power to manage the quality of the ingredient, flavor, and service in order to increase brand recognition and become the top of mind in the target group.
(2) Franchise Business
The market is still interested in the franchise business, which has led to the ongoing domestic and foreign franchise branch expansion. Mr. Siruwat Chatchaval, Chief of New Business of Zen Group, reveals ZEN Group has prepared a plan to increase its customer base and scout out new markets. Tummour and Khiang will be hard-pushed to increase the strength in main market in ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, as well as to seize possibilities to expand into new Asian markets like South Korea. According to the goals, it is anticipated that in 2023 the franchise business would be able to expand to Thailand and other countries. Another step is to concentrate on selling raw materials to franchisees in order to establish uniform standards across all branches.
(3) Retail Food Business
“Last year, ZEN Group has acquired King Marine Foods and Zen and Kosum Interfoods to strengthen its food business portfolio and they can significantly increase the company’s revenue. And in order to reach the goal this year, there is a plan to accelerate retail food sales, expand distribution channels and distribution centers in the northeast, and upgrade factories and warehouses to accommodate the rising sales. Due to the success of investing in the aforementioned two companies, one of the businesses that assists in increasing sales and lowering raw material costs is the retail food business. Still, the ZEN Group is continuously seeking for the investment possibilities in new businesses that are exciting and offer a rewarding rate of return to strengthen the food business portfolio within the group and make it bigger and stronger in the future.” Mr. Siruwat added.
(4) Food Deliver and (5) E-Commerce Business
For the food deliver and e-commerce business, the sales support system will be streamlined and made more adaptable. The company intends to shift its focus from B2C to B2B by emphasizing the sale of vouchers to corporates, as well as raising awareness of the system, increasing the number of members of the ZEN Group application and 1374 Deliver service, with a focus on the Big Order, to emphasize the distinction and quality of service and the capability to quickly deliver large quantities of food.
“It is expected that in 2023, the restaurant business will account for 74% of revenue, franchise business for 7%, retail food for 13%, and food deliver and e-commerce for 6%. I strongly believe that the strategy of all-around marketing penetration for this year will help the company grow quickly and consistently and
definitely achieve the goal.” Mr. Boonyong concluded.
For more information about Franchise of Tummour and Khiang Thai Street Food
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