Oishi Group Plc, Thailand’s leading green tea manufacturer and Japanese restaurant chain, is planning to invest 400 million baht to open 30 new outlets in the upcoming year. Among these, 15 will be Shabushi outlets, while the remaining will be Oishi Ramen, Oishi Japanese Buffet Restaurant, or Nikuya.
Paisarn Aowsathaporn, Oishi’s Executive Vice-President for Food, noted that the expansion would generate around 1,500 new jobs and boost 2012 sales by 20-25%, up from the estimated 4 billion baht this year. Oishi launched 24 restaurants this year.
However, flooding led to the closure of 23 outlets and disrupted the delivery of dumplings and sandwiches to 7-Eleven stores. Oishi suffered a loss of 200-300 million baht in assets and up to 400 million baht in opportunity loss during the floods. Several Japanese restaurant chains closed down as their central kitchens were located in flooded industrial estates.
With floodwaters receding, Mr. Paisarn is confident that the overall Japanese restaurant business will bounce back early next year after an anticipated 10-15% contraction this year. Oishi aims to resume operations at its Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate plant in Ayutthaya during the first quarter of next year.
A company insider revealed that the group is exploring the possibility of engaging a local or overseas subcontractor to assist with green tea production during the Nava Nakorn site’s refit. The Amata Nakorn production site in Chon Buri can only supply half of the total green tea output.
Oishi’s central restaurant kitchen is expected to restart operations within the next six months. Currently, each branch prepares its raw materials on-site. To mitigate future business risks, the company plans to increase the number of suppliers.
Oishi is also preparing a 20 million baht marketing campaign to boost sales in December, counteracting the decline caused by floods. Oishi Group anticipates sales reaching 10 billion baht this year. Shares of Oishi Group closed unchanged on the SET yesterday at 64 baht, with trade worth 4.9 million.