SINGAPORE - Casual Thai restaurant chain Porn's Sexy Thai Food, started by television host Pornsak Prajakwit, has been taken over by food and beverage company, the Jus Delish Group.
The company now has a 60 per cent stake in Porn's, which has four outlets, including at Alexandra Retail Centre and Kitchener Complex, and has been managing the chain's day-to-day operations since October 2016.
The joint partnership was finalised in December 2016.
According to Mr Ralph Liow, managing director of the Jus Delish Group, the company paid a seven-figure sum to enter into a joint partnership with Porn's.
He says that incorporating Porn's into the Jus Delish Group is "a chance that doesn't come twice".
Jus Delish Group is the food and beverage subsidiary of Micro 2000 Group, an information technology company. It owns four food brands, Gin Khao Thai Restaurant, Som Tam Modern Thai Fusion Restaurant, Talay Kata mookata restaurant, and Kwan Inn Vegetarian Restaurant, which it took over in July 2016.
Mr Liow says the opportunity to buy into Porn's came through exchanges with Mr Prajakwit and his business partner, Mr Foo Tuan How in 2016, as their restaurants share the same food suppliers.
He says: "Porn's has a bigger potential to expand than other local Thai restaurants here, as it is a sought-after brand that is endorsed by a Thai celebrity, who has a strong following among diners here." Its now-defunct outlet in Liang Seah Street opened in 2010.
Mr Prajakwit will take up "an advisory and ambassador role" in the chain.
The group also plans to open 10 Porn's outlets here within the next five years - at the rate of two a year. An outlet is slated to open in the second quarter of 2016 at a location yet to be confirmed.He adds that the group "doesn't plan to rock the boat", so there will be no changes to the menu and prices.
Beyond Singapore, Mr Liow says that the first overseas outlet of Porn's should open in Kuala Lumpur by the third quarter of 2017.
Noting that Porn's was previously run as an entrepreneurial outfit, he says that the chain can now leverage on the group's resources from operations to marketing capabilities.