By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Homegrown Filipino Tokyo Tempura is branching to Jakarta and Vietnam this year on hopes of a repeat of the Potato Corner success in the global arena.
Jorge Wieneke III, founder and owner of Tokyo Tempura told the press its planned international foray in Vietnam and Jakarta is in preparation of building a global brand.
The planned Jakarta and Vietnam prototypes would be on top of the 30 more stores that it will open this year in the Philippines, he said.
At present, Tokyo Tempura has 100 stores (kiosk/cart type) nationwide of which 80 are under franchise arrangement and 20 percent company owned. At least 50 percent of the outlets are located in the provinces.
Wieneke, also president of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., is offering a turnkey franchise of ₱336,000. “We are already the lowest in the market,” he said.
Wieneke, one of the founders of Potato Corner, started his own franchise food concept 7 years ago. He expressed hopes his Tokyo Tempura would do a repeat of the successful Potato Corner, which has cornered the world for its delightful French fries products.
Among the food concepts, Wieneke chose Tempura because, “People love tempura but the problem is it is expensive and not easily available.”
He envisioned to offer good tempura to a wider market by putting up accessible outlets at affordable prices.
Tokyo tempura sells for ₱160 for 12-piece bundle and ₱599 for 45 pieces. He said that prospective Tokyo Tempura franchisees should look for locations in hospitals and schools. They are not only offering shrimp tempura but also fish and vegetable tempura.
As a franchiser, Wieneke refused to promise his franchisees a return on investments (ROI) stressing there are many factors to consider in an ROI. “Promising does not promote responsible franchising,” he said.
He explained that while a franchise is a proven successful business model, it is just like any other regular business, “There is no guarantee.”
But suffice it to say that his store generates ₱8,000 to ₱10,000 daily sales on the average, enabling a franchisee to recover his investment over a short period of time.