Mango Tree Worldwide Charts Bold Growth Course with plans to double turnover and top 100 outlets by 2015
Thai restaurant operator, cultural ambassador and culinary innovator Mango Tree Worldwide has announced an ambitious programme of expansion that will increase its branded restaurants and cafes to 100 outlets by 2015.
The move will clearly make the firm the world’s leading upscale Thai restaurant operator. The company operates a chain of high-end, stylish restaurants under its flagship Mango Tree brand, as well as under the Mango Tree Bistrobar and Mango Tree Café brands, and COCA restaurants.
Mango Tree Worldwide’s Bangkok-based CEO and entrepreneur Pitaya Phanphensophon said he was delighted to see the growth of the company with its brands going from strength to strength in many of the world’s major cities, such as Tokyo, London, Dubai, Jakarta, Manila and Hong Kong.
Pitaya also does the business in the kitchen. Not your normal corner-office-dwelling CEO, he takes ‘living the brand’, leading by example, inspiring the troops and being hands-on as articles of faith. He regularly drops in to his restaurants’ kitchens to pick up a wok or knife and show his charges how it’s done, appearing as a chef on various Thailand television cooking shows, and writing his own cookbook, “I am not a chef, but I sure am a good cook”.
“It comes down to passion,” says Pitaya. “After many years in the business I’m still head over heels in love with Thai food. I believe that passion comes through in Mango Tree’s approach, creating authentic dishes with a bit of wow or a nice surprise here and there.”
Pitaya, whose father founded the company 57 years ago in Bangkok, announced the finely calibrated plans for growth at the original Mango Tree restaurant in the Silom district of the city. “Our success is down to choosing great partners, having a unique concept, a sound strategy and above all, a team which believes in itself,” Pitaya said.
He said the group had a number of long-standing partners worldwide, while the unique concept was taking Thai food in an authentic yet innovative direction, adding value to the dining experience beyond just good food via ambience, décor, presentation and tabletop architecture.
Pitaya added that Thai food was one of the fastest growing Asian cuisines, winning hearts and minds while securing loyal fans worldwide. “CNN Go’s recent list of the world’s Top 50 foods had Massaman curry at No. 1 and Tom Yum Koong at No. 8. Thailand not only was rated the best in the world, but we were the only country to receive two mentions in the Top 10. So that tells you all you need to know about the rising popularity of Thai food.”
Trevor MacKenzie, the group’s Managing Director and the driving force behind Mango Tree’s success in franchising its brands worldwide, said innovation and creativity were central to Mango Tree’s popularity.
“High quality ingredients, locally sourced where possible, and respect for tradition is also integral to the Mango Tree experience,” Mr MacKenzie said. “We also try to get the intangibles right, the ambience or vibe if you like, by including a fully functioning bar to provide theatre and buzz, innovative presentation and unexpected twists on ingredients.
“Our Tom Yam Scampi has been a big hit, and we swap the usual crab with Maine Lobsters in our yellow curry, also a hugely popular dish, as is Char-grilled rib eye with Isan chili dipping sauce and satay’s served on a special lava grill ensuring they are kept hot, fresh and flavourful as well as introducing a sense of theatre and interactivity into the dining experience.”
Mr MacKenzie and Pitaya are both passionate believers and advocates for their brands. Their ambition is as sweeping as their united vision: taking the Mango Tree brand, and the magic of Thai cooking, to a growing global audience, eventually planting a Mango Tree in every major international city worldwide.