Greyhound cafe to sprint into London

Thai F&B and restaurant group Mudman will take its Greyhound cafe brand to London in November.

Mudman sees the step as a springboard into other international markets.

Chief executive Nadim Salhani says spending power in the Thai F&B sector in the first five
months of this year has not been as good as expected.

Same-store growth of Dunkin’ Donuts, Mudman’s core business, recorded the highest decline for three decades in the first quarter of this year.

“In the past, when the economy was not good Dunkin’ Donuts sales were good,” says Salhani. “Spending per ticket has been lower and traffic to our store has declined. We have no hopes for the second half of this year, and instead will expand internationally to seek revenue growth this year.”

The company aims to boost sales contribution from overseas ventures to 30 per cent of total sales within the next three years, from 14 per cent expected this year.

In Soho, the London Greyhound will be a part of a showcase for Bangkok cafes and street food. It will also help build brand awareness for Greyhound before franchise launches are pursued for the cafe in major cities in Europe and the Middle East.

“The development of Greyhound will be more aggressive than in the past,” says Salhani. “We plan to open two restaurants a year overseas via franchises.”

There are seven Greyhound cafes under franchise agreements in Hong Kong, five in China and one each in Malaysia and Singapore.

More Greyhound cafes will open in Malaysia and Singapore this year, with an introductory branch for Indonesia opening next month.

Under the franchise agreement, Greyhound investors have to open at least five branches within
five years.

“We’re confident for Greyhound cafe to debut in London because while it does not offer traditional Thai food, up to 30 per cent of the menu is made up of Italian and local dishes,” Salhani says.

Mudman will invest £3000 (THB130,042/US$3795) in the first London cafe, with 120 seats. GHC Cafe UK was set up with a registered capital of THB200,000 and the company expects to generate £3-4 million in revenue from the London venture.

Meanwhile, Mudman is planning to close its 12 Greyhound fashion branches next year, but will be open to other opportunities.

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