Tin Drum

Tin Drum Hits Music City with 7-Unit Deal

Tin Drum Asiacafé, the popular Atlanta-based Pan Asian restaurant concept, announces the signing of a seven-unit development agreement in Nashville, Tennessee, with CANUSA ENTERPRISES, a regional restaurant group.

The agreement is the first in Tennessee. Tin Drum boasts 13 units across Georgia and Alabama, and plans to open up to eight additional units this year.

Tin Drum Sets Up Shop in Roswell, GA; Gives Free Food

Atlanta-based Tin Drum Asiacafé continues its southeastern expansion with its newest franchised location opening—and its first Roswell, Georgia, location—in Roswell Market Place shopping center.

The newest 50-seat restaurant unit, slated to open April 15, will offer free Tin Drum fare for a year to the first 50 customers from 11 a.m.–noon and again from 5–6 p.m.

Striking Gold

Steven Chan’s business was at a crossroads last year. His Atlanta-based fast casual Tin Drum AsiaCafé launched in 2000, sold its first franchise in 2001, and was growing slowly due to Chan’s determination to keep it debt-free. At the beginning of 2012, Tin Drum had 10 franchises in Georgia and Alabama that highlighted its pan-Asian menu.

The Debt-Free Debate

Firehouse Subs did it. So did Tin Drum. Is going debt-free right for your brand?

The Sorensen brothers have grown Firehouse Subs into a powerful fast casual.
Robin (right) and Chris Sorensen have built Firehouse Subs into a powerful fast-casual player with no debt.

The past few years have not been the kindest to the $660.5 billion restaurant industry. Faced with frugal consumers, scarce credit, and rising food prices, operators suffered through lower sales and tighter margins.

Adding to the pressure was last summer’s drought (the largest in the U.S. since the 1950s), which spiked the cost of meat and dairy products and will likely increase food prices between 3 and 4 percent, according to the USDA. These challenges have applied more pressure on companies already struggling to get back in the black.

Tin Drum Spreads Good Fortune for Chinese New Year

Atlanta-based Tin Drum Asiacafe will share traditional Chinese New Year festivities with guests at its 12 southeastern locations this year, deemed the Year of the Black Snake by ancient Chinese tradition. Starting February 8th, two days prior to the first day of the 15-day celebration, Tin Drum will feature the signature items from its diverse Pan Asian menu. 

12 for ’12

Our athletes went to the Olympics, our science went to Mars, and our people went to the polls. But what of the restaurant industry in 2012? These dozen items from the year had the biggest impact on the foodservice landscape and shaped the industry for a potentially game-changing 2013.

An Economy in Flux

The economic recovery isn’t lighting a fire under anyone’s feet, but the economy did at least improve, albeit slightly.

Tin Drum Carries the Beat with 11th Restaurant in Atlanta Area

Atlanta-based restaurant chain Tin Drum AsiaCafé announced a development agreement with business partners Imtiaz Ramzan, Ali and Ayaz Momin, and their company MRM, Inc. to open the first Tin Drum AsiaCafé restaurant in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a new market for the growing Pan Asian fast-casual chain.

The chain also recently announced its newest location in Atlanta, in Colony Square Midtown at 1197 Peachtree Street.

BIP Buys Stake in Tin Drum AsiaCafe

Atlanta-based BIP Opportunities Fund LP (BIP) announced that it is taking a minority interest in the rapidly growing Pan Asian fast-casual chain Tin Drum AsiaCafé.

The investment in Tin Drum, also based in Atlanta, will provide the necessary capital to fuel the emerging brand’s expansion strategy announced in early 2012.

Founder and CEO Steven Chan began franchising Tin Drum, his popular Asian-street food concept, in 2011 and expects to double the company’s corporate and franchise unit base by the end of 2012.

How to Grow Your Ethnic Brand

Steven Chan, founder of Tin Drum AsiaCafe, will present at this year's Dine America conference in Atlanta on September 12-14.

With more and more consumers diving into exotic flavors, the idea of opening an ethnic quick serve is becoming more feasible than ever for operators with diverse culinary backgrounds.

And with ethnic minorities poised to become the majority in just a few short decades, limited-service ethnic concepts are only poised to increase in the future, says Qaiser Kazmi, founder and CEO of Merzi, a Washington, D.C.–based fast-casual Indian concept “with a British accent.” At Merzi, Kazmi blends the English influence of his youth with traditional Indian flavors.

One to Watch: Tin Drum AsiaCafé

Tin Drum AsiaCafé is rooted in tradition, but focused on innovation.

Steven Chan, founder of Tin Drum, says the quick-serve Pan-Asian concept is named after the tin drummer, who in ancient cultures served as the local newscaster and wake-up caller. Each morning, he walked the streets banging a tin drum, beckoning people to gather at a café. He would report the news while they ate.