Zambrero (Australia) to Open 1st Outlet in Bangkok, Thailand

Australian-based Mexican food franchise, Zambrero will open its first overseas outlet in Bangkok, Thailand on 31 July, and there are plans to open additional sites across the world, as well as locally.

Another five stores are scheduled to open in Bangkok within the next six months, and New Zealand is set to receive six Zambrero outlets by February 2015.

The US, Middle East and India are also in the company’s sights next year, followed by China.

Australia continues to remain a focus for the brand – there are plans to open another 300 domestic stores within the next seven years.

Zambrero CEO Stuart Cook relocated to Thailand six months ago in lieu of the company’s first international opening.

He said, despite the recent unrest in Bangkok, there’s never been a better time to start a new business in the Thai capital.

“The economy is Southeast Asia’s second biggest and businesses are thriving here right now,” he said.

“Another reason we chose Bangkok is because it’s one of the strongest food technology and distribution hubs in the world. Thailand has a fertile environment, a large land mass and has embraced the technology to drive their food industry more so than any other Asian country.”

Zambrero founder Dr Sam Prince has enlisted four joint venture partners to help drive the company’s expansion in Southeast Asia, including Bob Lapointe, who brought the KFC, Pizza Hut and Sizzler brands to Australia.

Dr Prince reiterates the new Bangkok store will not mirror its Australian counterparts. Rather, it will cater to the local community – share-plate style meals and tastes familiar to the local palate, including tom yum sauce will comprise the menu.

“This restaurant won’t be for the expats but aimed at the people of Thailand,” he said.

“Asian countries have an aspirational culture that wants foreign brands but they also want familiar tastes. They also don’t know much about Mexican food so this will be an educational process as well.”

In keeping in line with this approach, a large portion of the produce used in Zambrero’s Bangkok franchises will be sourced locally, apart from dairy products such as sour cream and cheese and some Mexican chillies and beans.

“The exciting thing for us is that there are a lot of spices and chillies used in Zambrero’s Mexican food that are similar to the Thai palate and also available locally. Their culture of sharing food is important, too, and our dishes will reflect that,” added Dr Prince.

Cold Stone Creamery (US) Expands into Pakistan

The Cold Stone Creamery brand continues to pave its way internationally with its newest locations in Pakistan. Kahala Brands™, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, has signed a Master Franchise Agreement with Venus Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited (part of the Venus Group of Companies), spearheaded by Adnan Asad.

“Venus Pakistan Limited is a highly respected organization that owns many different types of businesses throughout Pakistan,” said Eddy Jimenez, senior vice president of international operations and development at Kahala Brands. “Their experience in high-end food brands is vast and Cold Stone Creamery is a perfect brand for them to add to their portfolio. The stores in Pakistan will be called Cafe’s and will offer a setting where people can come in and enjoy ice cream and the company of neighbors.”

The first Cold Stone Creamery Cafe in Pakistan will open its doors by September, 2014, at the Gulberg Galleria in Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan. The Galleria houses international and local high-end brands and eateries, making it an ideal setting for a Cold Stone Creamery location. A second Cold Stone Creamery Cafe will open by the end of 2014 in Karachi, a metropolitan city with a diversified culture and the business capital of the country.

“We are excited about our new collaboration and to have the opportunity to introduce The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience® to the ice cream lovers of Pakistan,” said Adnan Asad, president & CEO of the Venus Group of Companies. “Cold Stone Creamery offers the freshest, highest quality ice cream products and allows its customers to combine ice cream with a variety of the finest ingredients and mix-ins, such as candy, chocolate, cakes, fruits or nuts. When you walk into a Cold Stone Creamery Cafe, you will be greeted by a cheerful staff that is waiting to serve you and give you the special Cold Stone Creamery experience.”

The Cold Stone Creamery experience for the Pakistani consumer will not just be about best-in-class ice cream products, but it will also be about best-in-service with products that unquestionably deliver value. The Venus Group of Companies will offer a high-end ice cream product to the discerning Pakistan consumer, and offer a 360-degree experience unparalleled in its quality and one-of-a-kind service.

“The concept of ‘Create Your Own CreationTM’ is novel in Pakistan,” said Asad. “We feel very proud to be associated with Cold Stone Creamery and look forward to opening more stores and cafes in the major cities of Pakistan.”

Cold Stone Creamery has continued to make strong key moves into the international market in recent years. The international growth of Cold Stone Creamery began in November 2005 when the company opened its first international store in Tokyo, Japan. Today, Cold Stone Creamery stores are operating in nearly 300 international locations and over 25 different countries, including the Philippines, Cyprus, Kuwait, Qatar, Trinidad, Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia.

About Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery delivers the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience® through a community of franchisees who are passionate about ice cream. The secret recipe for smooth and creamy ice cream is handcrafted fresh daily in each store, and then customized by combining a variety of mix-ins on a frozen granite stone. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Cold Stone Creamery is a subsidiary of Kahala Brands™, one of the fastest growing franchising companies in the world, with a portfolio of 15 quick-service restaurant brands. The Cold Stone Creamery brand operates approximately 1,500 locations in over 25 countries.