Major expansion on the cards

Bun Co, operator of Mr Bun bakery restaurants, will spend nearly Bt300 million on store and factory expansion as part of its three-year business plan.The company also soon plans to promote Mr Bun internationally. It will start franchising outlets in both Thailand and potential markets abroad within the next 12 months.

The company has also remodelled its restaurants and logo to fit better with its international strategy, managing director Anusorn Tanyakul said yesterday.

“We’re creating a system for franchising our outlets that involves information technology and our personnel and production. We’ve been approached by Filipino and Indian investors who want to be Mr Bun franchisees in their respective markets,” he said.

Anusorn, in partnership with Rotiboy (Thailand), acquired Mr Bun in 2007 from its Singaporean founder, who had set up the business in Thailand the year before.

Under the plan, the company will open 31 new Mr Bun outlets this year, another 75 next year and 80 more in 2011.

“We want to see 230 Mr. Bun restaurants in Thailand with sales of Bt1 billion by 2011,” said Anusorn, added that the company achieved Bt150 million in sales last year.

However, it expects 200-per-cent sales growth this year. Almost 70 per cent of outlets break even within nine months.

He said Bt250 million would be earmarked for new-store expansion by 2011, with another Bt25 million to Bt30 million going towards increasing the number of bakeries.

“We’ve already spent Bt10 million to upgrade our bakery on the fourth floor of Zeer Rangsit shopping centre in Pathum Thani province. We have 130 staff producing 70,000-100,000 baked goods a day, enough to stock to 90 Mr Bun outlets.

“My idea is to open bakeries in the Northeast, North, South and Eastern Seaboard, each one serving 50-60 stores in their territory,” Anusorn said.

He said the first regional bakery would open by next year’s third quarter and cost Bt5 million to Bt10 million.”Our strategy is to attract customers with greater product variety. We recently launched 25 new buns and other bakery products over the past 12 months. That’s helped boost average spending per customer from between Bt25 and Bt30 to between Bt60 and Bt65. Mr Bun registers 350,000 transactions a month,” he said.

THE NATION, July 30, 2009