Gong cha signs two new master franchises

Gong cha, with over 2,100 locations across 23 countries, has announced the signing of two new master franchisees (MFs), awarding the territory rights for the Great Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho), as well as Central America. The two deals are projected to grow Gong cha’s presence in the Americas by more than 100 stores.

Since 2014, Gong cha Americas has grown at a rapid pace, opening more than 400 locations throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. The brand has opened more than 225 stores across 19 states and Washington DC, and has already franchised 65% of available territory in the US By 2026, Gong cha is projected to reach 1,000 stores across the Americas.

The master franchise rights for the Great Pacific Northwest have been awarded to Master Franchisee,
Ajay Keshap. Keshap has a degree in engineering, and background in high tech sales at Hewlett Packard. For the last 25 years, Keshap has owned a multi-brand US franchise group, whose holdings include 24 Denny’s restaurants, making Keshap one of the top ten largest franchisees within Denny’s system. He also owns 15 Papa John’s pizza restaurants, as well as the area development rights to Dave’s Hot Chicken in the state of Washington.

Gong cha is also pleased to announce the signing of an MF partner for the Central America region—husband and wife team, Justin Willingham and Monica Fonseca. They will begin by opening the first Gong cha locations in Honduras, and then expanding into Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Skilled entrepreneurs with years of franchise experience, Willingham and Fonseca are projected to open 1-2 locations in early 2024, with the goal of opening 50 stores across their territory over the next ten years.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Ajay, Justin and Monica to bring Gong cha to new markets across the Pacific Northwest and Central America,” said Geoff Henry, Gong cha’s president of the Americas. “With their experience and leadership in the franchise space, we know they will find great success introducing Gong cha’s premium product to a brand new audience.”

Gong cha is seeking large area developers for the remaining available territories in the US as well as master franchisee candidates in key growth markets in South America. For more information on Gong cha’s franchise programme, visit gongchausofficial.com.

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