Western-focused bubble-tea brand enters franchise market

By Nick Hall | 14 Sep 2018 View comments

Multi-site Australian bubble-tea business, Little Cha is the latest brand to enter the franchise market, offering a unique opportunity to a dedicated franchisee.

Following swift expansion that has seen the network grow from one store in 2017 to nine, Little Cha’s is now looking to revamp its model, offering franchise agreements for both new and existing locations.

Traditionally, the bubble-tea market has dominated by Asian-influenced brands and consumers, however Little Cha franchisor, Hank Chu said his brand’s innovative approach to Westernising the product offering has been critical to its success.

“The Little Cha brand began in early 2017 with the mission to Westernise Bubble Tea and bring it to the Australian population,” Chu said.

“We have tailored our flavours and bubble tea varieties to suit everyone but have especially focused on providing popular and recognisable options to cater for people from a Western background.”

“Around 70 per cent of The Little Cha customer-base originates from Western culture, which is a very good indication that we are reaching our goals and target market.”

The new franchise opportunity will be the network’s first, with prospective franchisees receiving two weeks of initial in-store training, in addition to ongoing support and consumer marketing for Little Cha head office.

Chu said the decision to franchise the business was a calculated move that centred around leveraging the brand’s established network of success to help prospective Australian business owners hit the ground running.

“We have a low entry price point compared to our competitors, giving more individuals the opportunity to become business owners and join our fantastic brand,” Chu said.

“We are focusing on regional areas that have minimal Bubble Tea competition, allowing the potential for great financial success and growth.”

As the franchise journey takes off, Little Cha will continue to expand its privately-owned network, with a new company-owned store opening next week, however Chu reiterates the franchise model remains the brand’s primary focus.

“We would like to grant six franchises within the next 12 months, being a combination of both existing stores and opening new locations, with a heavy focus on regional locations,” he said.

“Our goals for the next two to three years will involve having a network of up to 36 locations spread across Australia and potentially Taiwan and neighbouring Asian countries.”