Oporto heads overseas in 2018

OPORTO_MARSDEN_PARKPortuguese chicken franchise business Oporto is planning to take over the world next year, kicking off with its first store in Singapore sometime between March and June, followed by Sri Lanka by the end of the calendar year. In the meantime, the brand is in the final diligence phase of appointing a strategic partner in the Middle East.

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According to Oporto CEO Craig Tozer, the brand plans to work with local strategic partners and do master franchise arrangements overseas. The business also plans to progress at a steady, considered rate without moving too fast, he added.

“Oporto’s product and brand attributes suit those markets very well. Our product is of very high quality, the flavour profile of our chilli is very suited to the palates of those consumers and the chicken consumption per capita is quite high,” Tozer told IRW.

“So from that perspective, we sit very well [in those countries]. Customers in these markets are quite sophisticated by nature and quite receptive to international brands.”

The international expansion will be led out of Singapore, where a new team has been created and will report to Tozer.

“We’ll keep a core set of products which are true to our brand and reflect what our famous Portuguese chicken and burgers are. We do have some flexibility to tailor products to the local markets and palate and we’ll do that where required, but it’s important that it’s consistent to the brand and doesn’t dilute it,” he explained.

From a local point of view, Tozer said the plan is for the business to grows all channels next year, including adding between 10 to 15 new stores next year.

Another focus for Oporto next year will be on improving its marketing efforts.

“We’re very focused on marketing, our routes to marketing and how we make sure our brand and messaging is delivered into market the most effective way,” said Tozer.

“The key change for us is how we use those marketing dollars and make our spend more effective and we’re using technology to help us do that.”

Later in 2018, Oporto also plans to expand its beverage category to introduce alcohol, in auditioning to relaunching its loyalty app and in-store experience program.

Oporto was first launched as a family business in 1986 by Portuguese immigrant, Antonio Cerqueira. Now, there are more than 140 Oporto stores around Australia, serving Antonio’s flame-grilled Portuguese chicken.

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