• Mr Vincent Yonathan Wiguna wins exclusive 10-year Master Franchise for Indonesia
  • Franchise’s first Indonesian outlet opens in South Jakarta
  • Khun Thai Tea actively looking for franchise applicants

Singapore, 9th March 2018 – The global rights manager for Philippines’ signature Thai ice black tea, Khun Thai Tea LLP, has announced a major boost to its regional business with the signing of an exclusive master franchise agreement for Indonesia.

The agreement, which will be for an exclusive 10-year period, will see Mr Vincent Yonathan Wiguna commit to opening at least 20 outlets in Indonesia by Q1 2019. The first outlet has already opened, and is located at Mail Ambassador, 4th Floor Unit Counter 23, JI.Prof.DR.Satrio, South Jakarta, Indonesia.

The regional contract will see Khun Thai Tea’s signature pushcart business model expand to encompass a wider variety of stalls and concept cafes. Indonesia’s outlets will initially serve Khun Thai Tea’s signature beverages, with Khun Thai Tea Eats, the brand’s newly launched range of authentic Thai recipes, under consideration for rollout.

A Brief History of Khun Thai Tea

Khun Thai Tea began life as a pushcart run by Auntie Marlee in Bangkok’s ultra-chic nightlife and dining street, Sukhumvit Soi 11. After creating her proprietary Thai ice black tea (Thai: ‘cha-yen’) recipe in 1955, revellers began flocking to her pushcart after dark, making it the best-kept secret in Sukhumvit Soi 11.

Nearly six decades later Auntie Marlee announced her retirement in 2016, appointing Filipino Nancy Padilla to carry on her legacy in the Philippines, where the closely guarded recipe would be made for the first time outside of Thailand.

Ms. Padilla’s first outlet was named Khun Thai Tea in homage to Auntie Marlee (‘Khun’ is Thai for respect) and opened in June 2016 at SM Mall of Asia, Manila, Philippines. Her second and third Khun Thai Tea outlets followed in quick succession at Star City Amusement Park, Manila, and MegaMall Manila, in Ortigas.

Khun Thai Tea LLP, headquartered in Singapore and co-founded by Ms. Elis Chai and Mr. Jeremy Lee, was appointed to manage global franchise rights for the brand worldwide.

Franchise opportunities were made available in the Philippines from June 2017.  In July 2017, the duo at Khun Thai Tea LLP announced that a slew of new outlets were set to open in Manila over the second half of 2017.

Said Mr. Lee at the time, “The success of Khun Thai Tea in the capital city of Philippines has confirmed the potential of an Asia-wide market for our unique brand of Thai ice black tea. We are now planning for rapid expansion across Asia and will strive to bring a Khun Thai Tea branch to every Asian shopping mall.”

Mr. Lee also announced that Singapore would be the first country outside of the Philippines to open a Khun Thai Tea franchise.

Recently in November 2017, Mr. Lee announced a new outlet at Las Piñas City, scheduled to open by early December 2017.

A Taste Of What’s Coming To Indonesia

Auntie Marlee’s original cha-yen recipe originally called for a strongly brewed ceylon tea. It has since been modernized with a switch from ceylon to a Thai-grown assam tea known as ‘Bai Miang’. Infusion with spices maintains the headiness of the original recipe to bring out its complex flavours, while its traditional sugar, condensed milk and evaporated milk-heavy recipe has been updated to better suit the tastes of modern health-conscious consumers.

In addition to Auntie Marlee’s secret-recipe Thai ice black tea, the menu also features variations of popular Western beverages like Ice Cappuccino and Ice Mocha, spiced with a twist of Thai culinary culture.

Not only that, the menu also features items inspired by drink recipes from around the region, such as a mix of coffee and tea (‘Yuan Yang’), which was first brewed in Hong Kong; ‘Ice Bandung’, inspired by the original popular Malaysian beverage recipe that combines the alluring taste of rose syrup with the velvety smoothness of milk; and the bubble-tea-inspired Thai Milk Tea, which comes with the option of adding Taiwanese-style boba (small chewy tapioca balls) to your order.

Khun Thai Tea Eats – To Be Confirmed

Khun Thai Tea Eats will soon make its debut at Khun Thai Tea’s new outlet at SM Center Las Piñas, Manila, in December 2017. This is a new set of menu offerings, featuring currently-available Thai-style snacks like Thai Tea Toast, as well as a range of authentic Thai recipes such as Thai Basil Rice, Thai Flying Saucer and Thai Roasted Chicken Rice.

Items on the menu will be priced from an affordable P60 onwards, making it attractive to both locals and tourists. Students in uniform and youths with valid student cards will also receive a special discounted student price.

 Tap Into The Thai Tea Trend

Global foodservice is expected to grow over the next five years, with the bulk of growth to remain in Asia where chained penetration remains low, said Mr. Lee. Khun Thai Tea intends to expand its presence in emerging markets by opening more local branches via the franchise business model, amidst maturing economies and growing room for expansion by global chains.

He added, “Khun Thai Tea ticks all the right boxes for expansion in the global business environment, with its novel Asian menu, take-and-go format, generous serving sizes, affordable pricing, and low start-up costs.”

To ramp up expansion, Khun Thai Tea is actively looking for global and local franchisees who are interested in cashing in on the Thai tea trend, said Mr. Lee.  The search is not just in the Philippines, but across the world, and especially in newly master-franchised Indonesia.

Successful applicants would have at least 3 years of experience managing a business with at least 2 employees, possess enough capital to make the initial deposit, continue franchise payments and support the business for at least 12 months, and of course, possess basic cooking skills.

Individuals interested in stepping into the F&B foodservice industry can contact Mr. Lee via email at [email protected] to explore franchise opportunities.


 About Khun Thai Tea LLP

Khun Thai Tea LLP holds global franchise rights for Khun Thai Tea, a recognised premium franchised Thai Ice Black Tea brand. The company aims to bring the authentic taste of traditional Thai iced-tea, made from Auntie Marlee’s closely-guarded 61 year old secret family recipe, to cities all around the world, beginning with Asia.

Visit Khunthaitea.com for more information about Khun Thai Tea, Thailand’s most authentic overseas ‘Cha-Yen’ Thai ice black tea!