Gong cha, a premier bubble tea brand with more than 1,670 locations worldwide, is accelerating its U.S. expansion with the signing of three new master franchisees (MFs), awarding territory rights for the states of Michigan, Louisiana, and Colorado.
Together, the deals alone are projected to grow the brand’s U.S. footprint by an additional 60 stores over a period of five years. Gong cha currently has more than 150 stores across 11 states and Washington, D.C., including New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, and others. The first new stores are set to open in New Orleans in spring of 2022.
Across the U.S., Gong cha is projected to exceed 500 stores by 2025. To fuel their growth goals, Gong cha employs a master franchise model that allows seasoned entrepreneurs with enterprise-level experience to develop a large territory.
The territory rights have been awarded to principals Robert Song in Michigan, who owns several Maru sushi restaurants in the state, including downtown Detroit; Daniel Tsang, Ping Wen Bai, Ashraf Salem and Abdel Raouf Mousa in Louisiana; and Nam Vo and Phuong (“Mindy”) Thai in Colorado. The principals for each territory will develop a network of sub-franchisees, opening the door to entrepreneurship for individuals who dream of owning a business.
“We look forward to welcoming many new business owners who are ready to realize the untapped potential of these new markets,” says Andrew Sternburg, Gong cha’s chief development officer. “The strength and global appeal of this brand, paired with the rapidly growing popularity of bubble tea in the US, makes this an exciting opportunity for potential franchisees.”
Bubble tea is a rapidly growing category in the beverage/fast casual space: Orders of “bubble milk tea” rose 505 percent during the first half of 2021, according to Grubhub’s State of the Plate report and the global bubble tea market is projected to reach $3.4 billion by the end of 2027, based on Fortune’s Business Insights Report.
To capitalize on growing sales, Gong cha has undertaken the following:
- Globally, the Gong cha brand store count grew 17 percent year-over-year from 2020-2021
- In the U.S., yearly store growth has nearly tripled since 2018; 2021 openings were more than double that of 2019 and 2020
- Gong cha will open its first five corporate-owned U.S. stores in the Chicagoland area in early 2022 — with the long-term goal of opening more than 50 throughout downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburbs
For more information on franchising opportunities, visit https://gongchafranchising.com/.
Founded in Taiwan in 1996, Gong cha has more than 1,670 locations across 20 countries. It is also one of the fastest-growing bubble tea brands.