Gong Cha Singapore bubbling back
Former Mr Bean co-founder/MD Kang Puay Seng will lead the return of bubble-tea brand Gong Cha Singapore.
He is chief executive of Gong Cha (Singapore), which Royal Tea Taiwan has appointed as new master franchisee.
“Singapore has always been a key market for Gong Cha. Since the end of our previous franchise agreement, we have emphasised that we very much intend to continue to have a presence here,” says the Taiwanese company, which received more than 100 applications for the master franchise for Singapore.
“Given the brand’s strength in Singapore, we wanted to pick the right partner. Mr Kang’s extensive experience in F&B, coupled with his hands-on approach, detailed operational knowledge and commitment to quality make him a right fit.”
With more than 1300 stores globally, Gong Cha plans to launch its first Singapore outlet before the end of the year, to be followed by multiple openings. As well as a fresh look, the stores will have new offerings as well as original favourites on the menu.
Gong Cha (Singapore) is in discussions with real-estate companies and plans to finalise the locations of outlets in the coming weeks.
Gong Cha officially closed down in Singapore on June 5, with all its outlets being converted to the LiHo brand. Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan, Royal Tea Taiwan, was sold off to Gong Cha Korea, which in turn is owned by Japanese private equity firm Unison Capital.
LiHo was created as a result of a change in contractual terms stemming from the ownership switch. Rather than abide by the new terms, the Singapore Gong Cha management decided to break away.
Kang took his Mr Bean business from a single stall in People’s Park Complex in 1995 to multiple outlets in Singapore and overseas. There are now 57 outlets locally and three in Japan and the Philippines.
He left Mr Bean in June 2015, selling his shares to the other co-founder.