BANGKOK, THAILAND – The global restaurant group behind a revolution in modern Thai dining, Mango Tree Worldwide, will finalise partners in Barcelona and Milan next month, just as the brand’s first US restaurant in Washington DC prepares to welcome its first diners.
In October, Mango Tree CityCenter DC will be officially launched, ahead of the opening of Mumbai’s first Mango Tree in November, which brings Thai contemporary cuisine and lifestyle to the heart of Bollywood.
Mango Tree Worldwide founder and CEO, Pitaya Phanphensophon, and managing director Trevor MacKenzie agree there is no time for resting on laurels.
“We’ve planted a flag for Mango Tree in the US capital and secured a site in the very stylish CityCenter DC alongside luxury icons like Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, Dior, Hermès, Burberry, Longchamp, and cool French brand Zadig & Voltaire.
“The time is now ripe to turn our attention to Europe,” said Trevor, the brand’s dynamic franchising expert, who despite spending more time on the road than at home, recently managed to climb Mt Kilimanjaro for charity.
“We have been looking at the Mediterranean for years but the European crisis meant this was not possible until now,” he said. “We believe things are on the way up and in September I will be making trips to Barcelona and Milan to finalise the right partner in each city for Mango Tree.
“Spain is a country with an enviable lifestyle, I love the siesta culture and their late night approach to dining,” Trevor said. “Milan is a world trendsetting capital with fashion and lifestyle at its heart, and next year it will host the World Expo which will focus on food. So the timing is perfect.”
Trevor said it was ‘exciting’ to be involved in bringing Mango Tree’s ‘lifestyle’ approach to some of the world’s great cities. “This never feels like work,” he said. “I eat, sleep and breath Mango Tree, and I’m constantly inspired by Pitaya, a genuine visionary who has the ability to see, taste or otherwise discover something new.
“Going out to eat has transcended simply having a meal. People want the full experience – mixology, cooking tips, food photography, great music, and a more social aspect based around shared networks and influencers on social media.
“Food just tasting good is no longer enough. Every dish has to be an artistic statement in presentation for the Instagram generation. And you can’t just make it look good. Flavour is sacred.”
Mango Tree Worldwide’s growth in Europe is part of an expansion programme that will increase its restaurants and cafes to 100 outlets by 2015, with plans to double its annual turnover to US$100 million within two years.