Thailand-based Central Restaurants Group (CRG) is planning to open between 100 and 120 new restaurants in 2024, as the group anticipates the expansion of the restaurant industry in the region.  

CRG president Nath Vongphanich was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying that the restaurant industry is expected to grow by between 5% and 7% in 2024 to around Bt480bn ($13.31bn). 

CRG’s sales increased to Bt14.5bn in the previous year, a 13% rise from 2022, despite global economic uncertainties.  

In 2023, CRG opened 140 branches under 21 brands, including Mister Donuts, Terrace Na Bangkok, Yoshinoya, Coal Stone Creamery and Som Tam Nua, expanding its nationwide presence to 1,600 branches. 

In 2024 the company aims to drive a 14% revenue growth through the expansion of new branches, focusing on high-potential brands such as KFC, Auntie Anne’s, Ootoya and Shinkanzen Sushi.  

It also plans to expand existing joint venture partners’ brands by more than 25 branches and add two to three more brands to the CRG ecosystem. 

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For 2024, CRG has set a capital expenditure of between Bt1bn and Bt1.2bn, an increase of Bt300m from 2023.  

With a five-year investment plan of Bt6bn, CRG aims for 2,000 restaurants by 2028. 

Despite these positive predictions, CRG said that the industry faces challenges around management, energy prices and the rising cost of raw materials.  

In response, restaurant operators are launching promotional campaigns and introducing new menu items. 

Online food delivery platform Line Man Wongnai reported that more than 100,000 new establishments entered the market in 2023 – but 65% of these are expected to close within three years. 

Positive factors for the Thai restaurant industry include stimulus policies and the government’s promotion of tourism, according to Vongphanich.  

“The government expects more than 30 million foreign tourists this year, along with a recovery of the export sector, and this will drive the industry in a positive way,” he stated.