World of Beer, the Tampa-based craft tavern concept featuring 550+ craft and international beers, today announced it has signed a franchise agreement to expand internationally for the first time. The new tavern will be located in Shanghai, China and is slated to open in the second quarter of this year. Franchisee Cong Yin and his two partners plan to open at least three locations in Shanghai over the next three years.
"I visited my first World of Beer in Tampa in 2013, and I knew right away Shanghai would be an ideal location to introduce the concept," said Yin. "At that time, the craft beer scene had just started to emerge in Shanghai, and the number of craft beer enthusiasts was increasing quite quickly. Because of this enthusiasm, and World of Beer's proven and successful franchise model, we knew the concept would be a perfect fit."
Yin's company, Zhejiang Suige Trade Company, LTD, will employ about 40 people at the first location, which will be located in the Shanghai French Concession area, a popular shopping and dining district for residents and tourists. The tavern will be similar to U.S. locations with slight variations to the design and menu items will include baby back ribs, Asian-style sesame salad, a variety of dry-rubbed chicken wing flavors suited to the local market and fruit-oriented desserts.
"We've been looking to expand internationally for a couple of years, but we wanted to wait for the perfect partner and ideal location to launch World of Beer's international expansion on the right foot," said Paul Avery, CEO and president of World of Beer. "The new Shanghai tavern demonstrates how World of Beer's devotion to local craft beer and its tavern fare menu translates well across cultures. We are confident that the concept will continue to grow overseas and look forward to introducing our brand to residents in Shanghai and markets such as India and the Philippines later this year."
Since opening the doors to its first location in Tampa, Fla., in 2007, World of Beer has grown to 75 locations in 20 states across the U.S. Last year alone, the company entered several new markets, including New Orleans and Kentucky. Led by veterans of the restaurant and beer industry, World of Beer's leadership team drives the brand's success. The company's executives bring a diversity of knowledge and experience from past roles with organizations such as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, P.F. Chang's China Bistro and MillerCoors. With Avery spearheading the brand's future growth, World of Beer plans to have more than 100 taverns open worldwide by the end of 2016. The craft tavern concept also announced it will open its first taverns in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Las Vegas this year.
With additional territories available for growth and expansion domestically and internationally, the company is looking for franchise candidates who have a passion for good beer and are committed to enhancing the World of Beer brand integrity. Franchisee candidates should ideally have previous business ownership and employee management experience with involvement in the food and beverage industry a plus. Candidates should possess $3 million net worth, and have knowledge of real estate, demographics, labor laws, consumer preferences, government regulations and purchasing and distribution in the local market.
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