From selling food on the streets of Bangkok to owning a £25 million restaurant group.Kim Kaewkraikhot did exactly this.
Kim was born in a small village in Thailand, her education was limited and she left school early to work as a street hawker in Bangkok selling Thai food. Her passion has always been about cooking and her culinary skills saw her become known throughout Thailand for her dishes which in time won Kim an award for her Pad Thai dish. People would travel many miles to taste her signature food.
It wasn’t until Kim met Martin Stead a UK entrepreneur, did Thai Leisure Group begin its journey into becoming one of the UK’s most rapid growing restaurant groups.
At present Thai Leisure Group own two very strong brands, Chaophraya Thai Restaurant and Thaikun, and is jointed owned by Martin Stead (CEO) and Kim Kaewkraikhot (Chef Director). In this moment in time TLG is one of the fastest growing Thai dining markets outside of London and can certainly be seen as one of the main leading players in this category.
With there being over 2,000 Thai restaurants in the UK at present, Thai Leisure group’s aim is to bring authentic Thai cuisine and genuine Thai hospitality to the UK. An ambitious 5 year business plan will hopefully see the operation of 30 restaurants in place, reaching a potential target of a £70 million turnover. Figures from the recently opened site in Manchester displays the popularity of Thai food in the UK and make both restaurants owned by Thai Leisure Group a great business choice for developers. The Manchester store was opened earlier this year in May 2014 and has an average weekly sales net of £57k and occupies a great prime city centre location. With restaurants serving up to 20,000 customers a week and proposals to open another 30 more chains will see over 1,500 staff vacancies throughout the UK.
The first restaurant in the UK was opened in Leeds in 2004 and since then has quickly established into an exciting and innovative restaurant chain. They now have around 11 restaurants across both Scotland and England with future plans to expand into the capital, London. The company is consistently growing from strength to strength and with this brand having such strong background roots it is definitely one to watch over the next few years!
Thai Leisure Group will be catering at the Completely Retail event on the 30th September.