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White Spot expands in Asia

Franchised Triple O's-branded eatery to open in the Philippines in September

Vancouver's White Spot Restaurants is forging ahead with its Asian growth plans, opening a franchised Triple O's-branded eatery in the Philippines in September.

Triple O's, a subsidiary of White Spot, is a quick-service concept that offers a limited menu of primarily burgers, fries and shakes.

The Manila location will join 10 other Triple O's-branded restaurants in Asia:

  • six in Hong Kong;
  • two in Mainland China; and
  • two in Singapore.

"We have meetings upcoming with people from South Korea and Indonesia," said White Spot president Warren Erhart.

The 131-restaurant chain has had mixed success opening restaurants in Asian countries.

Triple O's franchisees Cynthia and Sidney Suen opened the chain's only Thailand restaurant in Bangkok and operated it on a marginally profitable basis before closing it in 2010 after rioters involved in anti-government demonstrations burned it down.

The Suens have had much more success as the master franchisee for Hong Kong, where they opened the chain's first Triple O's in Asia in 2003.

"Our busiest restaurants on the Triple O's side are in Hong Kong," Erhart said.

Singapore franchisee Jun Sugandhi opened the chain's first two Singapore locations last year. He aims to have four Singapore restaurants by next year.

Ibull Investments owner Michael Guan is the chain's partner for the Chinese province of Zhejiang near Shanghai. He opened his first Chinese location last summer and plans to open another 15 restaurants throughout the province within the next three years.

White Spot's China strategy has been to focus on individual Chinese provinces instead of granting a franchise partner rights to open restaurants across the entire country.