[THE INVESTOR] Food manufacturer and restaurant operator Shinsegae Food said on Jan. 4 that it has begun franchise operations, starting with its first franchise stores for the burger chain Johnny Rocket and ice cream chain O’slo.
The two stores are the first franchise stores operated under brands launched in Korea by Shinsegae Food. Shinsegae currently also owns the franchise chain Smoothie King, which already had stores nationwide before the company acquired it in 2015.
O’slo’s first franchise store in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. Shinsegae Food
Johnny Rockets opened its first franchise store at Kintex in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, while O’slo opened in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.
The move comes about 10 months after Shinsegae Food decided last year to begin franchising its stores. The company directly operates all of the stores for its other food brands, including the dining pub Devil’s Door and seafood buffet restaurant Bono Bono.
There had been reports of Shinsegae Food exploring franchise options since February, before the shareholders meeting in March when the company made adjustments to its by-laws to allow for franchise operations. An official at the company was quoted in news reports as saying that the right to franchise Johnny Rockets here was part of the contract that Shinsegae had with the Johnny Rockets headquarters in the US.
In a statement, the company said O’slo had “built up its brand power and competitiveness over two years through directly operated stores,” and that Shinsegae Food hoped to “create a foundation for reaching more customers with O’slo’s unique value through cooperation with franchises.”
For now, the company says it will focus on developing its restaurant brands rather than aggressively expanding its number of franchise stores.
By Won Ho-jung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)