Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China


Prima Taste Opens Shanghai Franchise

Prima Taste, renowned for its ready-to-cook pastes for authentic tasting Singapore cuisine, has opened a flagship Prima Taste restaurant in Shanghai, China. This officially kicks off Prima Taste's new franchise programme and strategic plan to become a leading international restaurant franchise with its "True Singapore Cuisine" chain of restaurants.

It is believed that this is the first restaurant chain serving Singapore cuisine exclusively that is expanding on an international scale, bringing authentic Singapore food to consumers all over the world.

The new 3,000-square-feet restaurant at Metro City, Shanghai's retail and leisure hub is a joint venture between Prima Food, Mr Sean Loo who is an experienced Singaporean restaurateur based in Shanghai, and another renowned Singaporean foodservice company. The business is initially structured as a joint venture with an intention to convert it to a franchise once the local franchise requirements are satisfied.

The Prima Taste concept restaurant in Shanghai is also a premier showcase of the brand's newly developed international franchise concept. The flagship restaurant boasts an elegant ambience with a distinctly Singaporean d├ęcor, featuring motifs of Singapore's national flower – the orchid – and a photo montage of old and modern Singapore on a feature wall.

To add to the unique Prima Taste experience, patrons can also visually appreciate 'live' cooking through the showcase kitchen while savouring the mouth-watering spread of authentic Singapore food. This design concept was specially developed to coincide with the launch of this restaurant and will be applied to all outlets in the Prima Taste restaurant chain.

"It is a strategic decision to adopt franchising as the primary mode of expansion beyond Singapore as it allows rapid development, yet with a coherent Prima Taste brand image and positioning in the long run. We already have a proven product, our Prima Taste ready-to-cook pastes, that can effectively support the franchise and provide a strong base for the delivery of a consistent dining experience anywhere in the world. Prima Taste is now synonymous with authentic Singapore food. With authenticity and consistency of our products, and now a robust franchise model, we are in a good position to become a leading international Singapore restaurant chain through franchising," added Mr Cheng.

The flagship Prima Taste restaurant in Shanghai aims to fly the Singapore flag high and champion the country's reputation as a food paradise. It serves a variety of signature Singapore dishes such as the famed Laksa, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore Chilli Crab, Char Kway Teow and Fried Hokkien Mee, as well as a delicious range of wok-fried dishes.

With the support of IE Singapore, and working with retail consultant A.S. Louken, Prima Taste has developed a full franchise system that provides potential franchisees with high-quality professional support that covers concept development, kitchen planning and optimisation, staff training and more. To provide for different customer segments and site characteristics, Prima Taste has created two restaurant formats under the new franchise programme – the Prima Taste Restaurant (full-service restaurant) and the Prima Taste Kitchen (quick-service restaurant).

With food offerings being the backbone of any restaurant, Prima Taste's team of masterchefs will also help in menu selection and development. In fact, with the wide range of products available under Prima Taste, franchisees can choose from a delicious variety of more than 100 dishes to add to their menu. Franchisees will also have rights to merchandise Prima Taste retail packs in their outlets.

Mr Lewis Cheng, Executive Director and General Manager of Prima Limited, added: "We aim to acquaint the world with Singapore's food heritage and reinforce our reputation as a food paradise. We are confident that Prima Taste will be well received in Shanghai and the Prima Taste Concept Restaurant franchise will take off not only in China but globally as well."

Besides China, Prima Taste has also signed up franchisees in the USA and Canada.

Prima Taste restaurants have already opened in Singapore, as well as San Jose, Perth, Jakarta and Manila through licensing previously. These existing outlets will be progressively converted to the new franchise programme.

To qualify as a Prima Taste franchisee, the applicant must possess adequate financial resources, have prior experience in and possess good operational knowledge of the restaurant business and more importantly, have an enterprising spirit and passion for Asian food and culture to be committed to develop the Prima Taste restaurant franchise. For more information on Prima Taste, visit www.primataste.com.





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