Pan Chai eyes UK expansion under new franchise

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Franchising

Pan Chai opened in Harrods Food Court in April 2012
Pan Chai opened in Harrods Food Court in April 2012
Pan Chai, the luxury pan-Asian concept with a single site in Harrods Food Hall, wants to roll out in city-centre locations across the UK under a newly launched franchise.

Three franchise models are on offer: casual dining, quick service and fine dining – the latter being the focus of the franchise. Our sister title, M&C Report, revealed that Pan Chai’s owner Eddie Lim wants to open at least five sites by the end of 2014.

“It has long been my ambition to bring high-end, luxurious pan-Asian food to the UK market and I can already see its influence growing,” said Lim. “Creating a Pan Chai franchise brings Asian fine-dining across the UK and is a great opportunity for anyone looking to become involved with a luxury Asian brand.

“We offer franchisees all the support they need, making this a great opportunity.”

Winning formula

The restaurant has enjoyed ‘huge success’ in the 18 months that it has been open. The menu of high-end sushi and pan-Asian dishes includes a range of signature sushi rolls such as the ‘Harrods Special’ (Fresh snow crab, avocado & spicy mayonnaise roll, topped with chopped scallops, orange and black caviar & spring onions), and hot dishes such as plum miso marinated Chilean sea bass, priced at £26.50.

Director Andrew Lloyd said: “The brand is unique, exciting, and - since its launch - Pan Chai has enjoyed tremendous success. Now we are looking for the right people to join us, follow our proven system, and establish the Pan Chai brand in other parts of the UK.

“Previous business experience, in particular in franchising, would be a huge advantage, but what we really need are people who are passionate about food and the restaurant industry, who want to be involved in the day to day running of their Pan Chai restaurant, and who have a genuine understanding and passion for the ethos of the brand.”

High-end dining

Set up costs will vary according to the location and size of each property, but Pan Chai insists that franchisees will be fully supported throughout the entire process from training and help with recruitment to high-profile marketing and PR. 

Lloyd added: “Harrods is the window to the world, where Pan Chai has set the tone for a unique, high-end, fine-dining experience that every new Pan Chai restaurant will recreate. For the right franchisees, this will be an amazing opportunity to be part of a premier brand in an exciting and influential environment.”

M&C Report confirmed that initial target locations are the high-footfall, affluent districts of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle, but other areas would be considered.

Pan Chai opened in April 2012​ opposite sister restaurant Mango Tree, which Lim also owns. 

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Venues

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