Gong cha appoints Ben Flintoff to key APAC role

Gong cha Ben Flintoff
Former BaskinRobbins GM takes up newly-created role at Gong cha. (Source: Supplied)

Gong cha International has appointed Ben Flintoff to a dual role leading the local business and operations in Asia Pacific.

Flintoff’s newly-minted role is director of operations services, Asia Pacific and franchise business leader for Australia and New Zealand. He remains based in Brisbane, Australia.

“I’m excited to join the Gong cha team,” Flintoff said. “Milk tea is a rapidly growing sector, and with its scalable business model, innovative master franchise program, and talented management team, I believe Gong cha is uniquely positioned to become one of the world’s largest franchised brands.”

The Taiwan-born but UK-based Gong cha business began in 1996. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing tea brands with more than 1,900 locations in 22 countries. Gong cha set up its Australian business in 2012.

Earlier this year it announced plans for a further 17 stores across the Australian market.

Danny Lee, CEO Gong cha APAC, said this newly created role matches Flintoff’s track record in the franchising industry.

“His priority will be working with our master franchisee partners in Australia and New Zealand to continue the strong growth trajectory already underway. In addition, continued focus on our operations across the Asia Pacific region and sharing of best practices – especially regarding sustainable business practices – fit well within his skillset,” said Lee.

Flintoff’s franchising and hospitality experience includes nearly 10 years with Baskin-Robbins under two separate parent companies. He spent five years as GM and 28 months as national operations manager.

Two years ago Flintoff achieved second spot in the Top 30 Franchise Executives listings and report.

In mid-2021 he left Baskin-Robbins for a spell establishing operations for a firm in the renewable energy field. In his COO role he raised the seed capital, established the advisory board, mapped target clients and built the go to market strategy.