Burma - Country Commercial Guide
Franchising

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-27

Overview

Within the past seven years until January 2021, food and beverage franchise chains from Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan have made inroads in Burma. Among ASEAN countries, Singapore has a strong interest in Burma’s franchise sector. Multiple F&B franchise chains from Singapore such as Ya Kun, Chewy Junior, Pasta Mania, Teapresso, Manhattan Fish Market, Astons Specialties Steak House, Crystal Jade, D’penyetz, BreadTalk, Ramen Monster, Singapore’s Kitchen, and House of Singapura can be found in Burma.  Moreover, Australia’s Gloria Jean’s Coffee has opened nine outlets in Yangon and Mandalay. F&B franchises from Thailand such as Black Canyon, Café Amazon, Doi Chaang Café, Fuji Japanese Restaurant, Ice Manias, Mr. Jones’ Orphanage, Shabushi, the Pizza Company, True Coffee, and Tummor also entered the market.  Other F&B franchises from Asian countries that have already made inroads to Burma are Ayam Penyet AP from Indonesia, Sorabol Korean, Twist Potato, Lotteria, Yogane and Bolgogi Brothers (Korean BBQ) from Korea, ChaTime and Gong Cha from Taiwan, Harley’s, Marry Brown, Hot & Roll, and Ichiban The Izakaya from Malaysia and IPPUDO Ramen, Osaka Ohsho and Yamagoya Ramen from Japan.

In addition to the Asian franchise food chains, U.S. franchises have successfully entered the country, starting in 2015.  In March 2013, Thai conglomerate Minor Food Group (MFG) opened Swensen’s, an American food and ice cream brand in Burma. In July 2015, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) opened its first outlet in downtown Yangon. KFC now has nearly 50 outlets in Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyitaw.  Pizza Hut opened its first restaurant in October 2015.  In 2018, Krispy Kreme inaugurated its first store and has since added eight more outlets in Yangon. In addition, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf now operate five shops in Yangon. 

Post-coup, five Asian and two American F&B franchise brands announced their exits from the Burmese market. The remaining foreign brands continue to operate and have adopted a wait-and-see approach.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Burma’s growing middle class with increasing consumer activity is an attractive market for international franchise brands.  The market had little exposure to most foreign brands until the 1990s, and since then, the country has experienced an influx of foreign franchises, especially in the food and beverage sector from both western and Asian countries.

The key sectors with the best prospects for franchise opportunities in Burma are food & beverage, quick service restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, vocational and executive-level education, car hire and taxi services, retail and convenience stores, health, and beauty and wellness. 

Opportunities

Burma’s franchise sector started with a couple of local and international fast-food franchise chains in 2013.  By the end of 2019, the country had nearly 95 foreign franchises operating in Yangon, Mandalay, Taung Gyi and Naypyidaw.  A large youth population, increasing consumer activity, and an expanding middle class have been driving demand for U.S. franchises. 

U.S. companies are advised to conduct proper due diligence checks on local franchisees. The U.S. Commercial Service Office offers customized services that help U.S. businesses find a reputable local business partner.

Contact Information

U.S. Commercial Service Burma
Ms. Ummay Aiman
Commercial Specialist
Email: Ummay.Aiman@trade.gov