Au Bon Pain Thailand franchisee eyes region

Authorised Au Bon Pain Thailand franchisee Mudman has obtained the rights to expand the bakery chain into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).

Several Thai companies including the Black Canyon coffee shop, Fuji Japanese restaurant, Minor Food’s The Pizza Company and PTT’s Cafe Amazon coffee chain, have opened restaurants in CLMV countries in the past three to five years.

These will be followed this year and next by such companies as Central Restaurant Group, Food Passion, which runs Bar BQ Plaza restaurant, King Food Group, which runs Krispy Kreme bakeries, and Zen Corporation, which runs Tummour Isan-style restaurant and On the Table restaurants.

Mudman CEO Nadim Xavier Salhani says the company has won rights from ABP Corporation, the owner of Au Bon Pain in the US, to open branches in the CLMV market. It is considering forming a JV with local partners or investing on its own. The investment model will be finalised by year-end.

“The expansion of Au Bon Pain bakery chain into the CLMV market reflects the market’s potential,” he says.
Mudman market research shows CLMV purchasing power has increased after the economy improved.

Salhani says Mudman expects to open the first Au Bon Pain branch in Cambodia or Vietnam by the end of this year or next. It plans to have 10 branches in the CLMV market over the next 10 years.

Mudman has run Au Bon Pain in Thailand for two decades and has more than 70 branches. As well as Au Bon Pain, its portfolio includes Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, Greyhound Cafe and M-Kitchen.

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