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Major expansion in the works for NYFD snack bar chain

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NYFD, which focuses on fries and dips, is now going into franchising.

THE 15-year-old snack bar brand, New York Fries & Dips (NYFD), is looking to appeal to a wider range of customers this year as the brand, now under a new management, aims to open 100 branches nationwide, according to a company executive.

“The group recently acquired the brand and we believe that it’s time for us to rebrand and relaunch the brand,” Avin Ong, CEO of the Fredley Group of Companies, told BusinessWorld during a relaunching event on Jan. 25 at Fisher Mall, Quezon City.

NYFD was formerly under the JD Islands Food Concepts and had eight branches before the Fredley Group came in. The group operates brands such as Macao Imperial Tea, Sandaya Yakiniku, and Shabu-Shabu Ichiban.

“We needed to update the menu to what’s current because there are so many good services and good products that the brand is offering,” Mr. Ong said of the relaunch.

Aside from rationalizing the menu to “make it easier for customers to order” and focusing on items such as loaded thick-cut fries and skinny shoestring fries, Mr. Ong said they have also shifted their strategy when it comes to their target market.

“Before, to tell you honestly, the brand used to focus on the A and B market but we believe that the mass market is also very important to us. So we adjusted the prices to make it friendlier,” he said before adding that this is also the reason why they decided on setting up stalls in places other than near cinemas.

“Of course you will see outlets near cinemas, but this time we’re focusing on making NYFD a small in-line store inside the malls, so you’ll see them in the upper ground floor or the food halls,” he said.

As the brand expands aggressively this year, Mr. Ong said that they are not competing against the ubiquitous Potato Corner because what NYFD is highlighting is the “high-quality fries” they get in partnership with Potatoes USA, a Colorado-based marketing organization for the 2,500 potato growers in the United States.

NYFD is also looking at pushing the brand for franchising as they plan to keep on opening aggressively even in 2020 because “we want to create franchising opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Mr. Ong pegs the cost of a franchise at P250,000 to P350,000 and aims to have 95% franchise-owned stores and 5% company-owned stores in the near future.

The brand recently opened a branch in Legaspi, Albay and is poised to open in Cebu and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao.

Aside from NYFD, the Fredley Group of Companies is also opening 60 more franchise-owned branches of its highly popular Macao Imperial Tea brand, known for its “rugged yet comfortable” aesthetic and wide variety of coffee and tea options.

During the event, Mr. Ong said the tea shop currently has 27 branches.

The company is also set to open a new international buffet restaurant, Hosaku International Buffet, at SM North EDSA’s North Towers. The restaurant will combine Japanese barbecue (yakiniku), shabu-shabu (Japanese hotpot), and international cuisine in a 600-square meter space. — Zsarlene B. Chua