The Korea Herald


CJ Foodville to push aggressive M&As

By 배지숙

Published : Sept. 22, 2015 - 19:14

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CJ Foodville, the restaurant and cafe operator under CJ Group, on Tuesday announced that the company aims to become one of the world’s top 10 diner operators with more than 3,600 outlets in 15 overseas countries by 2020.

Aggressive merger and acquisitions will become the main tool for the company to grade up with global giants such as McDonald’s, Starbucks or Yum. CJ currently operates 230 overseas outlets in 10 countries, and the proposed increase will account for 44 percent of the company’s revenue then, a fourfold increase over the current 11 percent. 

CJ Foodville’s Bibigo outlet at Incheon International Airport. (CJ Foodville) CJ Foodville’s Bibigo outlet at Incheon International Airport. (CJ Foodville)
“We now have a solid foothold in China, Southeast Asia and the U.S., and will start our expansion from there. If there is a suitable company with ample experience in food business and attractive portfolio, we will seek a merger,” said Kim Chan-ho, head of the company’s global projects, at a press conference held at Incheon International Airport.

“We have been studying the operations of McDonald’s and thought why can’t we be one like them? We have also looked into the success of Mexican-themed restaurant Chipotle and learned that we do need patience in investments,” he said.

Foodville’s 12 brand outlets, known as “CJ Air Town” at Incheon airport, will become the frontline for the “K-Food Global Connect” project, Kim said.

These outlets range from CJ’s signature Bibigo restaurants serving Korean rice mixed with seasoned vegetables, to kinfolk-themed diner Season’s Table and café brand Twosome Place, Petitzel Café and others. Located in the ground and third floors, these outlets have been given a bit of a boost -- reformed into quick service restaurants for busy travelers.

Still, all menus carry a little Korean touch -- from ingredients to recipes and services -- so that more than 45 million passengers using the airport every year would have a clear CJ brand image imprinted during their stay, the company said.

“We have a vision that visitors who have experienced our food at Incheon airport will enjoy Korean food back home once or twice a month,” said Kwon Hyuk-chan, head of the concession business.

By Bae Ji-sook(