HOMEGROWN COFFEE brand Bo’s  Coffee is targeting to increase the number of its stores to 150 this year, its top official said.

On the sidelines of the Franchise Asia Philippines 2023 International Conference, Bo’s Coffee Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve D. Benitez said that he expects the same growth in franchisees this year.

“Last year we did very well. Last year was one of our highest growth years,” he said, citing the opening of 25 stores, most of which are franchised.

“I think that is also because of the economy opening up and at the same time people are looking at putting their money where they can earn more rather than putting it in a bank where interests are very low,” he told BusinessWorld.

This year, he said the outlook for the business is the same as last year.

“We will grow as many stores this year. We have 10 in the pipeline already and there are five under construction. So, we are on track to hit that number,” he said.

“We are actually looking at 25 stores. We should hit around 150 total stores this year and we are currently at 130 stores. If everything pans out as planned, we could go beyond 150,” he said.

Mr. Benitez said that the new stores will be distributed across the country with the majority in Luzon.

“It will be all over the Philippines. Majority will be in Luzon — North Luzon, South Luzon, and a little in Metro Manila — but also a lot in Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

Mr. Benitez said the company is on track with its growth targets as of mid-year.

“I think the momentum will continue to grow for the next two to three years. We are still very bullish about our growth this year, in fact I think as far as financial performance is concerned, we are already beyond pre-coronavirus disease,” he said.

Mr. Benitez said that the company, WS and Landin, Inc., is not looking at entering the equity market yet.

“It will not be in the near future. We have a private equity partner called Navegar and they help us grow,” he said.

“The equity market could be a next stage, but I think it is good to grow the business first to a level where it is ready to be listed,” he added.

WS and Landin is the company behind brands such as Bo’s Coffee, Daily and Urbanica Milk Coffee. — Justine Irish D. Tabile