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Thai Express Franchise — An Industry Leader in Thai Cuisine

Coming to America: one of the largest quick casual Thai food franchises that took Canada by storm

Thai Express is one of the world’s largest Thai food franchises. Founded in 2004, Thai Express took Canada by storm, growing hundreds of locations in the last decade. Tapping into a powerful, unfed demand for an authentic, fast and affordable Thai experience, Thai Express has exploded in popularity in Canada to become not just the top Asian QSR in the country, but also one of the most recognizable restaurant brands in the nation. Bolstered by the support and leadership of franchise giants MTY Group™ and Kahala Brands™, Thai Express is entering the United States market where the demand for Thai food has been rising for years.

Thai Express is a first-to-market Asian food franchise that offers savvy entrepreneurs the opportunity to capitalize on the ever-growing demand for authentic Asian foods while simultaneously benefiting from a time-tested brand. We’ve created a quick casual business that doesn’t compete in the overcrowded burgers-chicken-pizza space, while tapping into the market’s growing desire for a fast food experience that is healthy, affordable and fast.

“Thai Express started in 2004 with five locations to hundreds of locations throughout Canada. I’m proud to say that every year has almost been a record year for growth since MTY Group launched Thai Express as a franchise system, which is just phenomenal,” says Dennis Ng, Thai Express brand vice president for MTY Group, in Canada. “This concept done exceptionally well in food courts, shopping centers, universities and as stand-alones. We’re excited to enter the U.S. market, where the demand for the authentic and affordable Thai food is skyrocketing, yet where there is no real brand player yet. We’re experiencing rapid growth and quickly becoming one of the fastest growing Asian brands in the U.S.”

thai express franchise

Top five reasons to own a Thai Express franchise

  • The Washington Post named Asian cuisine the fastest growing sector of both the global and U.S. QSR markets.
  • Thai food is a popular choice of fresh-food dining enthusiasts and coveted by millennials across the country.
  • Thai Express is a first-to-market opportunity to tap into a high-demand, underserved audience for delicious Thai food in the U.S.
  • Customers love the diverse, yet simple, Thai Express menu featuring more than 300 made-to-order options that keep them coming back again and again.
  • Rapid build-out and affordable cost of entry make a quickly scalable single- or multi-unit opportunity.

Authentic flavors, quality food and relevant branding

One of the key components of Thai Express’s popularity and growth is the food. According to industry research firm Edelman, 23% of the coveted millennial generation eats Thai food regularly. Yet, there is no national player in the Thai cuisine market. And, unlike other Asian QSR concepts, when customers go into a Thai Express, they won’t find a steam table filled with dishes from which they choose. Instead, customers see fresh ingredients, selected for their dish as they order, cooked before them while they watch and then plated in an attractive manner that showcases the special aspects of each dish.

thai express franchise infographic

Thai Express is fast, too. For example, our most popular dish is Pad Thai, and customers who order this dish typically receive their food less than three minutes after ordering at the register. Providing authentic Thai flavors in more than 300 meal combinations based on a customer’s choice of flavor, protein and degree of spiciness, and prepared fresh while they watch in under three minutes, brings customers back again and again.

“No other QSR restaurant provides what Thai Express does: fast, affordable and fresh food prepared while they wait,” says John Wuycheck, Sr. Vice President of Development for Kahala Brands. “When they come into Thai Express, guests receive great service and a great product that’s made while they watch — food theater at its best — and they respond in the only way that matters. They come back again and again for our unique combination of savory, sour, sweet and spicy. There’s literally something for every customer on our menu.”

Thai Express offers a fresh alternative to the traditional Asian QSR concepts as dishes are made fresh to order rather than a “ready to serve” steam table.

Welcome to fresh. Welcome to flavorful. Welcome to Thai Express.

What our franchisees have to say

Bring the premier Thai Express food franchise to your community today

Thai Express is a low-cost investment opportunity with high potential for growth as we expand across the United States. Startup costs range from $454,050 to $846,700, depending on the model you choose. Since 2004, we’ve grown to dominate the Canadian market with a business model built for entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing an authentic and affordable Thai food experience to their communities. The franchise fee for your first Thai Express franchise is $30,000, and the franchise fee for multiple units can be discounted if certain conditions and criteria are met.