, Thailand

Thai fast food operator Central Restaurants Group wants 100 cloud kitchens by 2024

The company is expected to open more restaurants this year.

Central Restaurants Group (CRG), the operator of around 1,100 fast food outlets in Thailand, is looking to open 100 “cloud kitchens” across the country in five years.

The company had already opened its first cloud kitchen last 7 July on Nakniwas Road, in Lat Phrao. Another 49 branches are planned for Bangkok and suburban areas within 2022 whilst the remaining 50 are scheduled between 2023 and 2024.

CRG expects to spend 500 million baht (approx. US$15.7 million) for the kitchens by 2024, aiming to earn 1.5 billion baht or 10% of their sales by that year.

Cloud kitchens are commercial facilities purpose-built to produce food specifically for delivery, not having brick-and-mortar dine-in areas and consist of shared kitchen space with culinary staff preparing meals.

"Cloud kitchens are a new platform for the F&B industry using e-commerce and delivery services, which both continue to grow," CRG president Nath Vongphanich told local reporters in a press conference. "The collaboration will also respond to the changes in consumer behaviour and lifestyles as the trend for online food and delivery services has increased in popularity recently and was accelerated by COVID-19.”

In addition to the expansion of cloud kitchens, Nath said the company will continue opening its restaurants the rest of this year, with the number of total outlets under CRG projected to reach 1,100 this year. 98% of its existing stores have already reopened, except for branches in tourist destinations and airports. Sales are estimated at 10.5-11 billion baht this year, down from 12 billion last year.

CRG’s portfolio includes international fast food brands Kentucky Fried Chicken, Auntie's Anne's, Mister Donut, Cold Stone Creamery and Yoshinoya.

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