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Birmingham based noodle bar prepares for international expansion

Director, Aman Bhandal, in Chop and Wok Canon Street's quirky dining area

Birmingham based pan Asian eatery, Chop and Wok, is bucking the trend with national and international expansion, creating more jobs in their head office based in Birmingham city centre, as a result.

From its humble beginnings as a single store on Birmingham’s Suffolk Street, Chop and Wok now boasts a total of five branches in Birmingham (including, Birmingham City Centre’s Cannon Street, Quinton, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull and Suffolk Street) with yet another store due to be launched in the City of Westminster, London. The precise details surrounding the Central London store is still under wraps but it is set to open around July 2013. Chop and Wok will be transferring its experienced and loyal Birmingham staff to London to help set up the new store, thus creating even more jobs via these soon to be vacant Birmingham positions. But it doesn’t stop there; the cool, new age brand hopes to make its mark across the globe with its sights firmly set on international expansion.

Chop and Wok captured the interest of a major Middle Eastern player, who has now officially signed up to become the master franchisee of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Due to their knowledge and experience in the food and beverage industry, both parties have agreed on a minimum target of 3 stores per year (subject to a pilot store), over the next five years in Saudi Arabia with sights already set on taking the brand across the Middle East. The process has taken just over a year from initial contact to agreement of funds. This mass expansion abroad will again create further jobs within Chop & Wok’s Birmingham City Centre based head office.

Birmingham born entrepreneur and founder of Chop and Wok, Aman Bhandal, has been working closely with the Franchise Development Centre to compile both a national and international franchising pack. The Franchise Development Centre is part of The Franchising Centre; the UK’s leading team of professional consultants to the franchise community. A £50,000 investment and a year later, Chop and Wok is now officially a member of the British Franchise Association (membership with whom it is notoriously difficult and therefore much coveted) and has improved its operations and marketing, all so it can become an easily replicable franchise model.

Chop and Wok is a pan-Asian wok-based takeaway and restaurant with an Asian fusion menu, and set in a new age, fluorescent dining area. The dishes are cooked in an open kitchen where customers can witness exciting and explosive combinations of flavours being created before their eyes. The menu encompasses Chinese, Thai, Malay, Japanese and Indian flavours.

Chop and Wok’s original Suffolk Street branch was set up in August 2009 when Aman was aged just 24. Less than four years on, and Chop and Wok is ready to go international.

Aman Bhandal, Director of Chop and Wok, comments: “We’ve been on quite a journey with Chop and Wok! To already be finalising plans to expand internationally, let alone nationally, is exciting to say the least and shows just how much growth the business has seen in such a short space of time. Who knows, we may even be able to build something big enough to compete with the big brands out there.”

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