The F&B chains that failed in Vietnam

Many big players have had to leave, but the Vietnamese food & beverage (F&B) market has never been more attractive in the eyes of investors.

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With a population of 100 million, Vietnam is considered a potential F&B market. Vietnam’s F&B Overview 2018 by Vietnam Report showed that the industry makes up 15 percent of GDP. It accounts for the highest proportion in the monthly expenditure structure of consumers (35 percent).

However, the attractive market is not reserved for all. Most recently, Huy Vietnam had to shut down Mon Hue, a chain of restaurants with more than 80 outlets across the country. Pho Ong Hung, Com Tho Chay and Great Banh My, the other brands managed by the same company, are also in big difficulties.

The KAfe is another example. The coffee chain just after one month of operation could make profit big enough to pay to workers and maintain operation.

In October 2015, the startup’s founder Dao Chi Anh stated The KAfe had successfully called for $5.5 million worth of capital from the investment funds based in London and Hong Kong.

Later, The KAfe expanded with the appearance of four brands The KAfe, The KAfe Village, The KAfe Box and The Burger Box, with 26 branches in Hanoi and HCM City.

However, consumers later turned their back to The KAfe as the menu was not so special, while they had many other choices. In August 2016, a food company denounced The KAfe for not paying debt worth billions of dong. In October 2016, Anh resigned from the post of CEO and the company turned into a 100 percent foreign owned firm.

Just half a year after the resignation, The KAfe closed all shops in Hanoi and HCMC, terminating its operation in April 2017.

Ten Ren, a once well-known bubble tea brand, had the same fate. Vietnam witnessed ‘bubble tea fever’ in 2017, and Tra Ca Phe Viet Nam, the company that owns The Coffee House, said it would spend VND100 billion to develop 30-40 shops in 2018.

However, the plan failed. By the end of 2018, Ten Ren had opened 23 shops, and no shops were opened this year.

In mid-July, The Coffee House unexpectedly stated that 23 bubble tea shops of Tenren chain will close on August 15.

When The KAfe shut down, another F&B chain also left the Vietnamese market – Gloria Jean’s Coffees. The well-known Australian coffee brand closed the last café at Grand View in the Phu My Hung urban area in HCMC in April 2017, after 10 years of ups and downs in Vietnam.


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