太太 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, really well."

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 works first."

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 standards.

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 out.

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 Vancouver.

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 Sun  

Note:  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.  - 2008


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