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Thai restaurants abroad
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  1. #1
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    Thai restaurants abroad

    Elephant Jump franchise to showcase Thai cuisine
    The Nation, Published on November 04, 2005

    In a bid to promote Thai restaurants abroad, the Commerce Ministry has initiated the establishment of an Elephant Jump national franchise for the export of Thai cuisine. The ministry also plans to increase the number of Thai restaurants in foreign countries to 18,000 within the next three years.Commerce Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said yesterday the National Food Institute (NFI) would handle the project. The institute will join hands with the private sector to set up a Thai restaurant chain under the name Elephant Jump. The franchise’s strategy will also allow foreign investors to apply for a licence.“Foreigners can become Thai restaurant franchisees if they are concerned enough about Thai food standards,” said Somkid.The franchising project should increase the number of Thai restaurants and create awareness not only for Thai food, but also for other Thai products, said Somkid.

    Yuthasak Supasorn, deputy executive director of the NFI and president of the Kitchen to the World project, a government scheme to promote Thai cuisine, said the institute was considering using the name Elephant Jump for its franchising outlet. The name used to belong to the Export Promotion Department’s restaurant many years ago.Yuthasak also noted that if the project succeeded, it would increase income to the country about threefold.Currently, Thai restaurants abroad generate Bt2 billion to 3 billion worth of income annually.The Cabinet also approved a budget of Bt2.5 billion to support the Kitchen to the World and franchising projects. The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Bank and Krung Thai Bank will provide financial backing.The government also plans to support the expansion of potential Thai restaurant brands, both domestically and abroad. For instance, potential Thai brands to be exported include the Coca sukiyaki chain, Yai Restaurant in Australia and Thai Go in the United States. There are plans to expand their franchises to other countries.In addition, the project will focus on adding Thai dishes to foreign restaurants and five-star hotel chains.A total of 9,170 Thai restaurants are known to be operating abroad.Petchanet Pratruangkrai

    The Nation
    Last edited by Sawatdee; 05-11-05 at 08:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    Yes, I read about this a couple of years ago. Just looking at the shelves in grocery stores, one can see the addition of Thai made food items. There are alot of varieties to be found. Quality is pretty good,although not as good as home made. It brings up the taste of foods made with a Thai twist.

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    In the Netherlands are many Thai restaurants. It is not as a few years ago, there were only a few.
    But in the last years the number of Thai restaurants has gone up very quickly.
    There are also Chinese and Indonisian restaurants who have a few dishes Thai food.
    The quality of the Thai restaurant is not bad, it is not as the wife make it.
    "My computer goes down on me more often than my wife"

  4. #4
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    potential Thai brands to be exported include the Coca sukiyaki chain, Yai Restaurant in Australia
    There is so much competition, from independently operated restaurants in Australia now, the big franchises are not doing so well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_au
    There is so much competition, from independently operated restaurants in Australia now, the big franchises are not doing so well.
    This is a good point. Though I am always excited about the spread of thai culture, I generally don't eat in "chain" restaraunts. Then again, many people certainly do. I wish them success.

    -mike
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    panic

    The food and restaurant business is not exactly the best business to get into, as the failure rate is quite high. People have to eat either by cooking for themselves or having others do the cooking.
    I have seen some very successful places and some where the lights are out until a customer walks in the door.
    I think you have to have the heart,know how, and business acumen ( and repeat customers) to be successful.

    This lady in the area prepares aharn thai at the local farmers market. She has a big heart;but has to work on her flavors. I will still be a customer ,I guess because of her compassion for food.

  7. #7
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    I would love to open a franchise in the US. My wife is currently the chef at an upscale Thai restaurant in Coral Gables, FL (Miami-Dade). She knows the entire menu, and makes the sauces, soups, and everything else. I think we could make a go of it. I have an advanced degree in industrial-organizational psychology, which means our personnel selection, retention, and reward systems would be sound. With her knowledge of the cuisine and my knowledge of organization theory and personnel management, I think we could make a go of it.

    The restaurant is like manufacturing with direct to consumer sales. People want high quality food, prepared in a consistent way, and at a reasonable price. When it comes to ethnic foods, it also pays to understand the preferences of local palates. If one attempts to hold hard and fast to authenticity, one may put people off. The curries prepared at my wife's restaurant are more sweet and mild than I like, and they have more coconut milk and water than curry paste. What we think of as extremely mild, many western palates think of as very spicy. Communication is also important, so people do not have unrealistic expectations for the food. Short descriptions of each dish and a definition of the spiciness scale goes a long way to bringing customer expectations into line with actual product characteristics. The restaurant business is also a people business, so you will want to learn the names and preferences of regular customers. Like the theme song for the old American TV series "Cheers," people like to go where everyone knows their name. LOL
    Life is learning. If you stop learning, you might as well be dead.

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    talking

    visionchaser,
    I think that for business purposes "adapting " cusine to the country has it's place;but also, I think there has to be a time when people become knowledgable about foods and expect the real thing.
    For myself, I become quite disappointed with the modified foods found in alot of ร้านอาหารไทย in the US.

    [QUOTE]more sweet and mild than I like, and they have more coconut milk and water than curry paste. What we think of as extremely mild, many western palates think of as very spicy. "[/QUOTE

    Exactly, what I mean! I look forward to the day when authentic tasting food can be found in restaurants abroad.

    There is a market place in Honolulu where a you can find อาหารอร่อยไทย.Nothing fancy,just a stall in a market place setting.

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    For myself, I become quite disappointed with the modified foods found in alot of ร้านอาหารไทย in the US.
    Unfortunately, you are the exception rather than the rule. Most Westerners don't discriminate between Chinese and Japanese. None of the food you get at Chinese restaurants in America, with the exception of a few dim sum bars, is authentic Chinese. In order to have a truly successful restaurant, you have to target the mean of the consumer base. You may make special provision to please outliers, but the majority of consumers is the target market. I always joke with my wife abut the episode of "King of the Hill" where Hank's Lao neighbor keeps getting asked if he is Chinese or Japanese. After explaining that he is from Lao, a land-locked country in Southeast Asia, they ask him again..."So, are you Chinese or Japanese." That, unfortunately, describes the bulk of Western consumers.
    Life is learning. If you stop learning, you might as well be dead.

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    I agree about having to target the largest audience. However, this also will depend on the size and level of culture in your city. My town is fairly small, yet it has a large university and therefore a lot of cultural diversity. In this case, I believe that a smaller, more authentic place may actually do better than a large, franchise-style restaraunt. I know I would prefer it, but we do have 3-4 (seemingly successful) "americanized" thai restaraunts in town. The only times I've had authentic thai food in america (outside of my home!), were in places that had large thai populations, ie DC metro area, and parts of NY.

    -mike
    fnord!

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