Oporto to spice up Singapore

Inside Franchise Business: Craig Tozer and Calvin NgAussie chicken franchise chain Oporto is to open its first Asian outlet in Singapore in mid April.

Oporto CEO Craig Tozer is confident the brand is well positioned for international growth beyond its current New Zealand network.

“Taking our brand internationally has always been a key focus. Having found the right master franchise and supply partners, we are excited to announce that Oporto will be expanding into Asia, with the first restaurant to open in Singapore mid-April 2018.”

Tozer told Inside Franchise Business, “We’ve spent many months in market, we’ve conducted qualitative and quantative research, and the company’s local expertise gives us confidence.”

Oporto has partnered with a global financial services business, Aura Group, in Singapore, with the goal of opening three outlets this year and 10 restaurants across Singapore over the next five years.

Aura Group operates in Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok and Hanoi, with a focus on corporate advisory, funds management and wealth management.

Tozer said the group also has extensive hospitality experience and a number of investors own supplier businesses in Asia.

“This gives us an understanding of the local challenges and inherent risks of operating in a new country.

“There are a lot of very different players but the market in Asia is less mature,” Tozer said.

Chicken consumption is “far less pronounced” than the 45kg per person, annually, in Australia, he said.

The launch restaurant will offer an open-style kitchen, indoor seating for 30 and will celebrate the Oporto heritage through modern, contemporary Portuguese inspired design.

The authenticity of the brand, the market research and the local expertise are all key elements to the expansion.

Aura Group managing director Calvin Ng said “We are excited to have secured the Oporto master franchise for Singapore as it is a truly unique concept and close to our hearts. South East Asian’s love chicken and of course chilli. Combining Oporto’s amazing food with our local market expertise we are sure this is the right collaboration for Oporto to have a successful future in this market.”

Asian expansion will centre on Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand with a target of 50 outlets across the region within 10 years.

Tozer said Oporto has appointed a partner in Sri Lanka and is set to launch the brand in June this year.