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Tom+chee in Taiwan

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TOM+CHEE in Taiwan

Group Project

Overview of the TOM+CHEE Corporation

TOM+CHEE, a family business, is a restaurant chain in the United States which sells grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and other grilled cheese related products primarily.

The idea of company name, TOM+CHEE, comes from the first three letters of "tomato" and the first four letters of "cheese". The TOM+CHEE company was founded in 2008 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Trew Quackenbush, Corey Ward, and their wives, Jenn and Jenny. They wanted to start a food business focused on something simple, comforting, and affordable – that could also be made awesome, and the first location was opened in the same year in Fountain Square, Cincinnati. Till 2009, they had 70 employees and 2 stores. When the beginning, it had taken them to get $1.5 million for one year, but now the sales is $14 million in 2 years and more and more. Now with a full kitchen, TOM+CHEE widened its offerings to include over 25 eclectic grilled cheese sandwiches, three versions of tomato soup daily, and an ongoing variety of specials. Chef Trew began roasting turkey, chicken and beef in-house and developed TOM+CHEE’s own unique recipes for sauces, spreads, and dressings made from scratch. In a corner of the chalkboard menu – much larger than the one was at the tent.

Their persistence paid off, and the media began to take notice. TOM+CHEE was named one of Cincinnati’s Best New Restaurant and its Grilled Cheese Donut was named “Best Unorthodox Donut” by Cincinnati newspaper Citybeat, The Grilled Cheese Donut also received national attention from NBC’s “Today” show, ABC’s “The Chew,” the Huffington Post and NPR.

Trew and Corey appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in May 2013, hoping to secure investment dollars to grow their business better and revamp the Cincinnati stores they originally opened on a shoestring. In order to concentrate on growing their brand and personally selecting franchisees, Trew, Corey, and their wives moved into TOM+CHEE’s first office space in June 2013. TOM+CHEE added its third market in Lexington KY in December 2013.

By the end of 2014, TOM+CHEE company had 19 locations in operation and the company sales were generated more than $1 million monthly. As of April of 2015, the company has 170 stores under contract and more than 500 employees in more than 20 states and 21 locations. Now TOM+CHEE is expecting to expand 30 new locations to open around in the United States this year, it is the vision for 2015.

The Motive for Expanding into Foreign Markets

Motivation of expansion

The TOM+CHEE is a family business fast-food company. For the key objective of TOM+CHEE, the company is looking for the home run locations where are capable of generating sales of $400-500/square foot, there are more markets match this conditions overseas as sharing the market. Besides, the locations should be with the combination of daytime and nighttime popular which lots of cities in Asia have matched this feature. To expand their market to overseas countries are very important for the TOM+CHEE business. If the TOM+CHEE company can expand their market to overseas countries, the TOM+CHEE will make more profit than if only staying in United States.

Moreover, expanding to overseas countries also can reduce their cost because the cost in United States is much more than other countries. Therefore, there are three countries which are Taiwan, Japan and Korea own huge potential to expand the TOM+CHEE company new market in overseas countries. The following paragraph will explain why Taiwan, Japan and Korea are the best choice for the TOM+CHEE company to expand their overseas market:

Alternative Countries

Considering the development of TOM+CHEE, our team prepares to pick up three alternative countries to invest. It would help the company to face the opportunities and changes flexibly. The three alternative countries are Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. This paper will analysis the feasibly of our group county’s choices by listing the advantages and disadvantages of different countries.


Japan is an island country in East Asia which located in the Pacific Ocean, and it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan. The most important thing is that Japan is one of the largest economy countries in the world, so it has enough economic power to have effect on the global economy. Foreign companies hold a high share of sales in Japan, particularly in consumer-related markets. If TOM+CHEE want to expand the business to overseas, there is no doubt that Japan is a good choice for considering.


There are some advantages for Tom + Chee to invest in Japan:

• The population of Japan is 126 million, and it is the world’s tenth largest. About 9.1 million people live in Tokyo which is the capital city of Japan. We may target the Tokyo as our ideal market for TOM+CHEE to increasing our brand exposure.

• Japanese government encourages foreign companies to invest in Japan. It has reformed one of the regulations about tax stated in Fiscal Year 2011 General Outline for Tax Reform to attract foreign companies to set up business in Japan.

• Japan is highly developed country in Asia, and it is the central market of Asia. The GDP of Japan ranked the third for nearly 500 trillion yen which stands high in the world and leads markets in different kinds of industries. A leading world economy that boasts large-scale economic power.

• Japan has business friendly infrastructure which means it has well-developed social infrastructure. Japanese business sophistication ranked the first in the world which is highly evaluated in the World Economic Forum’s “The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015”. (Jetro,2014)

• Japan has the world-class transportation infrastructure like international airport, harbor, railway and freeway. This factor is very convenient for doing business in Japan.

• The increasing number of single-person households consists of busy workers and the elderly, who are unable to get groceries and cook, make them prefer dining out alone rather than eating at home.

• Japan is a country where you can live safely and pleasantly, and it has the longest expectancy which ranked 1st in the world. The OECD better life index “safe” category also ranked the first in the world. Nearly 40% of foreign companies



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