Tin Drum Asiacafé completed the purchase of six franchised restaurants in Atlanta from three of its franchisees, establishing Atlanta as a cornerstone market for the brand. As part of the plan, Tin Drum will open five new company-owned restaurants throughout Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, in 2014.
The fast-casual franchise with nine Atlanta-area locations (five company-owned and four franchised owned) will bring the majority of franchise outlets under corporate ownership as part of a long-term franchising strategy focused on multi-unit operators who can develop eight or more locations. The purchase allows Tin Drum to build its hospitality culture with a strong corporate and franchise support team and to provide a credible, turn-key concept for potential franchisees.
“By establishing Atlanta as a corporate-owned market, we can better demonstrate the power of the brand to potential investors and franchisees,” says Steven Chan, CEO and founder of Tin Drum. “Our customer base in our hometown is loyal, unit economics are strong, and Atlanta is a city of up-and-comers interested in trying out new concepts and products.”
Chan, along with partner and private equity firm BIP Opportunities Fund, acquired locations in the Atlanta neighborhoods of Atlantic Station, Colony Square, Cumming, Roswell, and Augusta, Georgia. The chain’s first location at Georgia Tech will remain corporate-owed. Additionally, the company will house its growing team in new offices in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell.
As part of its long-term initiatives, Tin Drum, which started franchising in 2011, is actively seeking larger, multi-unit operators to build the brand. It recently announced multi-unit franchise agreements in Nashville, Tennessee, for eight cafes.
“When we started Tin Drum in 2003, we engaged with strong partners that could bring fresh Asian-fusion to neighborhoods throughout Atlanta,” says Ray Biondi, Tin Drum COO. “Customers embraced our unique concept and we are poised for national expansion, which requires different development objectives.”