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Hong Kong, the International Dining Hotspot

Following the success of Tsukada Nojo in Hong Kong, AP Company plans to use the city as headquarters for overseas business.

Japanese restaurant group AP Company has been eyeing Hong Kong market over the years, and searching for the right partner and location to open their first restaurant in the city. In July 2017, the company’s leading brand Tsukada Nojo landed in Harbour City’s Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the most popular tourist and shopping hotspots in town.

Setting against a breathtaking harbour view, Tsukada Nojo features Japanese collagen-rich chicken hotpot with a farm-to-table concept, targeting health and beauty-conscious diners. The restaurant has soon become a “must-go” for the epicureans.

Masashi Kamatani, Managing Director of AP Company, said that Hong Kong is crucial for their continuous expansion in Asia. “Hong Kong is the key market for our future success. The city has a very mature dining culture, while the customers have a strong spending power and are curious about new taste and dining experience.”

According to Kamatani, the Hong Kong branch has the highest sales and average spend-per-customer among their 200 restaurants in Japan, as well as a handful of outlets in the region including Singapore, Beijing and Jakarta.

“For business operators, Hong Kong has a very sophisticated and stable market. Even though it’s competitive, there’s always room for new restaurants with abundant opportunities available,” he added.

To stay ahead of the game, Kamatani encourages the staff to proactively talk with customers to find out their satisfactory level and expectation. He also visits different restaurants every day to understand the latest food and beverage trends and what competitors are offering. “Most importantly,” he said, “is to constantly communicate with customers and modify our products and services to meet their expectations.”

With its new franchise store opening in Cambodia and the Philippines later this year, AP Company will eventually make Hong Kong their headquarters for oversea business. Kamatani remarked, “Hong Kong is a compact city and it’s easy to launch a business. It is centrally located in the heart of Asia, which makes it convenient for us to manage our branches in Japan and Southeast Asia.”

The company now employs close to 40 full time and part time staff for restaurant operation. In the next few years, AP Company targets to open 20 more restaurants in Hong Kong, and will add more office staff to manage its oversea business as when the headquarters is set in Hong Kong.

Kamatani thinks that InvestHK has provided a great platform for business operators. “When I started, I didn’t know much about government policy or the market environment in Hong Kong, so I turned to InvestHK for assistance. The information and industry news have been very helpful for me to understand what needs to be done,” he concluded.

10.04.2018

Fast Facts

  • A listed company established in 2001 in Japan
  • Owning over 200 restaurants in Japan with over 20 F&B brands, as well as six outlets in Singapore, five in Beijing and one in Jakarta
  • In additional to the existing restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui, the company will open another restaurant in Shatin in 2018

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