Cynthia Suen has proved her prowess once again
Expatriate Vancouverites in Hong Kong got to satisfy
their Triple-O cravings this week after White Spot Restaurants opened its first
overseas location near the Hong Kong financial district.
White Spot president Warren Erhart said the
1,500-square-foot, limited-menu restaurant in the upscale Pacific Place retail
centre is the first of six new White Spot franchise outlets expected to open in
Hong Kong over the next four years.
"The awareness of the White Spot brand in that
market is amazing," he said in an interview Friday. "We must have had
20 people on the first day who said they were from Vancouver and knew us really,
Erhart said the Suen family, with business interests
in Vancouver and Hong Kong, has signed a deal to open the new White Spot outlets
in Hong Kong.
"We're very excited about the opportunities we
have with [limited-menu] Triple-O locations in the Asian market," he said.
"We're also interested in China, but basically we want to see how Hong Kong
Triple-O locations are smaller than full-service White
Spot restaurants and have menus that focus on items like hamburgers, fries and
salads. The new Hong Kong location has seating for about 100 people.
Erhart said White Spot sent a team of quality-control
people to Hong Kong to ensure the products in the new restaurant meet company
Bakeries and other local suppliers were found in Hong
Kong, but the restaurant chain still has to send over two important items from
Vancouver -- the relish that goes in the famous Triple-O sauce and the dill
pickles that go with the hamburgers.
"Until we get some critical mass and economies of
scale over there, we'll continue to ship those items over," Erhart said.
He said other groups approached White Spot in the past
about opening new restaurants in Hong Kong but none of those deals ever worked
White Spot, founded in 1928 by legendary Vancouver
entrepreneur Nat Bailey, started out as a barbecue chicken restaurant at
Granville Street and 67th Avenue in Vancouver.
There are currently 57 full-service White Spot
restaurants and 33 smaller Triple-O outlets in B.C. and Alberta and about two-
thirds are franchise operations. The company is now owned by the Toigo family of
White Spot unveiled a new corporate logo this year
that got rid of the familiar stylized chicken, which had been a staple of the
chain's advertising for more than 50 years. The new logo simply says White Spot
in a circle that reads "legendary restaurant."
- 2003 November 22 Vancouver
on Sunday they did record sales for any one store of Triple-o.
The Suen family have now opened three White
Spot's in Asia and all are doing well. -