Aug. 26--Central Restaurants Group (CRG), operator of the Chabuton ramen chain, plans to double the size and sales of the business over the next three years.
Chabuton general manager Yasuto Togashi said CRG would spend 120-180 million baht to open 15 Chabuton restaurants nationwide over the next three years, bringing the total to 30.
Many of the new locations will be upcountry to capitalise on increased purchasing power stemming from the Asean Economic Community beginning late next year.
Chabuton's business in Thailand fell by 20% in 2014's first half amid political unrest. Sales have since returned to normal.
"We still have room to grow in the ramen business in Thailand because there are few giant ramen chains in the market," Mr Togashi said.
The ramen market in Thailand is worth 3 billion baht and grows by 10% a year.
Big ramen brands include Hachiban and Oishi.
Ippudo is the latest contender after its debut at Central Embassy last week.
Chabuton entered Thailand five years ago and controls 10% of the market.
With its expansion plan, CRG expects Chabuton's market share to reach 15% in the next five years.
The company also hopes to expand Chabuton to other Asean members after securing approval from Chabuton's parent company in Tokyo.
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