How Gong Cha plans to take its bubble tea brand across the U.S.


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If you haven’t come across a bubble tea concept yet, you will quite soon.

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast A Deeper Dive features Paul Reynish, who was named global CEO of the bubble tea concept Gong Cha earlier this year.

Gong Cha was founded in Taiwan in 1996 and is now based in London. It has quietly been one of the fastest-growing chains in the country. It operates more than 1,600 locations globally. It finished 2021 with nearly 170 locations in the U.S., up 700% over the past five years.

Reynish was hired after stints at Dunkin’ and Five Guys. He talks about the brand’s plans for growth, including how many units it expects at the end of this year. He talks about the bubble tea trend generally, about the rapidly changing U.S. beverage market and where Gong Cha fits in that market.

He also discusses the chain’s plans for food.

228 episodes