Watami opening Japanese food restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Casual diner chain Watami Co. will open a Japanese food restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City in June with local property developer SonKim Group.

HO CHI MINH CITY, NNA – Casual diner chain Watami Co. will open a Japanese food restaurant here in June in a joint venture with local property developer SonKim Group.

Watami said Tuesday that it had set up SonKim Watami Co. with paid-in capital of 28 billion Vietnamese dong ($1.2 million).

SonKim Group’s food and beverage unit SonKim F&B Co. holds an 85 percent stake, while Watami International Co., a Hong Kong-based unit of the Japanese firm, holds the remaining 15 percent.

The restaurant “Kyo Watami” will open in a high-end condominium building in Ho Chi Minh City and serve grilled food, sushi and tempura.

The partners plan to open more than 30 restaurants over the next 10 years in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang.

Watami currently has 48 restaurants outside Japan, in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Taiwan, Shanghai, Singapore, Guangzhou, the Philippines, South Korea and Cambodia.

Watami and SonKim will also build a food processing plant at the Cat Lai Industrial Zone in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Saigon Times.

The new plant will be equally owned and export products to Watami restaurants in Japan, as well as supplying the “Kyo Watami” restaurant chain and GS25 convenience stores, which is a SonKim joint venture with South Korean GS Group, the paper said.

A Watami spokesman in Tokyo said the company could not discuss details of its business plan but added, “We see strong potential for growth in the Vietnam market.”

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