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Thu 9th Mar 2023 - Exclusive: Chopstix Group acquires Chozen Noodle
Exclusive – Chopstix Group acquires Chozen Noodle: Chopstix Group, which owns the UK’s largest Asian quick service restaurant (QSR) brand, Chopstix Noodle Bar, has acquired competitor Chozen Noodle for an undisclosed fee, Propel has learned. Chopstix Group is acquiring all of Chozen’s 27 sites in motorway service areas (MSAs), which are principally managed through franchise agreements with Roadchef and Moto, with two additional company-owned sites at Extra MSAs. Building on Chopstix Group’s already strong presence in MSAs, the acquisition of these Chozen sites takes the group’s presence at MSAs to 53 sites and said it is an important step in consolidating its position as the largest Asian QSR operator in the UK. It is understood the deal makes the company the second biggest QSR brand on UK roadsides behind Burger King. Chopstix Group managing director Jon Lake said: “We already know from the customer feedback and sales data of our existing MSA sites how well our proposition works in this category of site. With more than 6.3 million people visiting MSA every week, this represents an enormous opportunity and an important strategic acquisition for the business. All sites will continue to trade as Chozen for the foreseeable future and we will work with our franchise partners to determine a longer-term plan for each location.” Matthew Kirby, founder of Chozen, added: “I’m extremely proud of the business we have grown, and we’re pleased Chozen will be passing into the safe hands of Jon and the team at Chopstix.” Established in Camden Market in 2002 by entrepreneurs Sam Elia and Menashe Sadik, Chopstix Group comprises Chopstix Noodle Bar, Yangtze and now Chozen. The group’s total number of Asian QSR sites now sits at 127, with 90 venues operating as the Chopstix brand, 27 as Chozen, and ten as Yangtze. The fast-growing group, which opened 26 Chopstix sites last year, comprises locations across the UK and Ireland through a mix of company owned and operated locations and franchise sites, and has long-term ambitions to reach 500 sites. Chopstix Group, which continues to be supported by Metro Bank, has existing franchise agreements with MSA operators including Applegreen and Welcome Break. Last year, the group launched its first holiday park location in partnership with Haven, and also works with experienced QSR franchisees such as Sparta Foods. This year, the brand plans to roll out further franchise sites at Haven as well as opening a restaurant at Butlin’s Bognor Regis’ new food destination, Skyline Eats. Sadik and Elia said: “Ever since we opened our first franchised site with Applegreen, we’ve known MSAs presented a huge growth opportunity for us. With our best-in-class processes, our business is perfectly suited to the franchise model, so we’re excited to be able to work with first rate franchisees like Roadchef and Moto. We’re looking forward to working together to make these new locations even more successful and profitable in the future.” The acquisition comes as Chopstix Group continues to deliver strong sales across its portfolio. The Chopstix app, launched in summer 2022, has already received more than 150,000 downloads, with app users spending £1 more per transaction than non-users, delivering an 8% increase in average transaction value across the month of December. Chopstix is also available across Deliveroo, Just Eat and UberEats. Chopstix features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book and UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database – two of five databases exclusive to Premium subscribers. The Blue Book is updated each month and ranks 709 companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. For the year ending 24 April 2022, Chopstix turned over £38,675,537, which is the 162nd highest in the database. The UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

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