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July 16, 2024

Hanwha to debut Five Guys in Japan next year

PUBLISHED : July 09, 2024 - 16:22

UPDATED : July 09, 2024 - 16:22

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Hanwha Galleria Strategy Division Head Kim Dong-sun (center), participates in a cake cutting ceremony with officials at the Five Guys’ first branch in Gangnam, celebrating the branch's first anniversary, on June 26 (FG Korea).

FG Korea, the South Korean operator of US burger chain brand Five Guys, will open its store in Japan in the second half of next year, with plans to launch over 20 locations across the nation within seven years.

FG Korea announced on Tuesday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Five Guys International last month to facilitate Five Guys' entry into the Japanese market.

Five Guys was introduced to Korea by Kim Dong-sun, head of Hanwha Galleria strategic management and the third son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon. FG Korea is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hanwha Galleria.

The recent business agreement allows FG Korea to spearhead Five Guys' expansion into Japan through the establishment of a separate Japanese entity.

Kim intends to extend the operational expertise gained from Korea's Five Guys to other regions, starting with Japan.

"FG Korea has achieved remarkable results in just one year through systematic quality control and differentiated services," the vice president said in a press release. "We will explore various new markets beyond Japan, aiming to make Korea the global standard for Five Guys."

Industry sources indicate that Japan's hamburger market is some 2.5 times larger than Korea's, with an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent since 2015.

An FG Korea official noted the premium brand preference and anticipation for Five Guys in Japan, citing Japanese tourists visiting nearby countries like Korea to experience the brand. "We believe that Japanese customers will greatly appreciate Five Guys, as our unique operational strategy will be combined with the high-quality taste and standards," the official said.

Since opening its first store in Seoul's Gangnam in June last year, FG Korea has launched additional locations in The Hyundai Seoul, Seoul Express Bus Terminal and Seoul Station. The fifth store is to open in September in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province. All four existing branches are listed in Five Guys' "Global Top 10 Stores" and have remained profitable since their initial opening period, according to FG Korea.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)

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