Gong cha to accelerate US growth with direct franchising

Gong cha US franchising
The bubble tea brand has used a master franchise model to grow its US business until now. (Source: gong-cha-usa.com)

Gong cha is launching a direct franchising program in the US after 10 years of a master franchise model.

Through master franchisees Gong cha has opened more than 225 stores across 20 states and sold about 65 per cent of available territory. It used this model to partner with experienced entrepreneurs armed with strong knowledge of their region to develop large territories.

Now Gong cha is implementing the second stage of its expansion strategy and will directly franchise its remaining territories including Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, and Tennessee to accelerate the brand’s expansion.

Experienced partners will be able to build multi-store businesses to fulfil multi-year development plans. In 2023, Gong cha grew its US store count by 19 per cent year-on-year.

The bubble tea brand expects to grow its Americas store count by more than 30 per cent this year, adding 130 new locations.

Gong cha’s US franchising growth is set to accelerate

Gong cha will initially launch in Puerto Rica and Las Vegas with experienced franchise partners.

Geoff Henry, president of Gong cha Americas, said the company’s move into direct franchising comes after years of enquiries.

“Over the past two years, our team has built a robust franchise support system—making significant investments in technology, launching a brand marketing fund, and nearly doubling the size of our US team—in order to bolster a growing network of partners.”

In addition to direct franchising, Gong cha will continue to offer master franchise opportunities in select regions, primarily focused in Latin America.