Thai Express, the global leading brand for fast casual Thai dining, focuses on fun, healthy, fresh food and already has over 250 branches in Canada, the UAE and UK.
The Thai Express chain has recently launched in the UK and now boasts three venues in England including Guildford, Essex and Aldgate in Central London, all of which are owned by husband and wife partnership Uzma Pattani and Sachin Pattani.
Thai Express offers a new twist on traditional Thai Cuisine with fresh meals prepared to order right in front of customers. The express chain has blossomed from one small Thai family owned unit in a mall, to a huge international concept with branches dotted across the world.
We caught up with Uzma Pattani to find out more about the latest branch in central London which is the chains first UK street location. Uzma commented:
“We bought the brand over to the UK in 2012 and have got three sites now; the brand is quite versatile First few started off in shopping mall food courts, which is a popular model in North America, but in the UK we would like to move more towards street locations, as malls are few and far between.
“We are excited about the London store as it allows the brand to reach its full potential. The brand concept is to cook authentic Thai recipes with freshly prepared food in front of the customer in a healthy-fast-food style. The pricing is competitive and affordable and the food is suitable for lunch or dinner and so is perfect for city workers.”
The husband and wife team opened their first venue in Guildford, Surrey in 2012 before opening another branch in Lakeside Intu shopping centre in Essex in June 2014. The UK team uses darker colours on their units in order to make them stand out from other food court concepts; pink, black and green are used to add a modern twist to the Thai takeaway concept.
The London store, situated near Aldgate Tube Station, opened at the beginning of December. The Aldgate store boasts a huge picturesque wallpaper mural, which the team tend to have a feature wall in every UK store, containing surreal Thai icons and scenes. The stores also contains colourful patterned tiles mixed with mosaic creating a textured element to the space. As well the stores incorporate real bamboo walls. The goal is to create an inviting atmosphere with a twist of fun. The lakeside unit has a “tuk tuk” installation which is used as the condiment station.
As Uzma is a graphic designer by trade she has undertaken a lot of the design elements for all three stores. In order to conceal a large fan in the Aldgate store an MDF material has been crafted into a Thai inspired design.
Thai Express worked alongside main contractors Elite Shopfitters on the Aldgate store and hope to use this firm on future developments as they were so pleased with the quality of their finish. Ultimate Retail Solutions and 360 Interiors worked on other two stores.
“Our focus has always been to franchise. We started a few years ago knowing that we would open some of our own stores and use them as training locations to build up the brand before franchising throughout the country. We aim to start franchising by next year.”