Gong cha has been serving premium bubble tea in places around the world for more than fifteen years. How did we become the drink industry’s leading tea franchise, and how are we continuing to lead? Keep reading to learn more about our history and what we’re doing to help our franchise owners stay on top.
THE HISTORY OF GONG CHA’S DRINK BUSINESS
Gong cha’s name is derived from the Chinese phrase for “tribute tea,” which was tea offered to Chinese emperors as tribute. As such, only the most refined, highest quality tea could be served to the emperor—and that’s exactly what we serve to our own guests every day.
After establishing our name, Gong cha started putting down roots in 2006 by opening our first bubble tea store in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Three years later, we celebrated our first overseas location in Hong Kong, followed by our expansion into the Korean market.
EXPANSION INTO AUSTRALASIA
In just over four years, Gong cha’s stores tallied over 400 in Korea—an incredible explosion of growth that fueled and prepped our brand for new markets. In 2013 and 2014, we were honored as the most popular food and beverage brand in Singapore then the most popular tea beverage brand in Korea that second year.
EXPANSION INTO THE UNITED STATES
Those same years, we took Gong cha into the United States, Canada, and Japan for the very first time, reaching 550 stores by the end of 2014. We added nearly two hundred more locations in the next three years and began a rebranding of our franchise to best serve both our guests and tea franchise owners.
A WORLDWIDE PRESENCE
We’ve now reached over 1,650 locations in more than 20 countries. Gong cha has been ranked as #1 in the tea category in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 for 2022 and recognized for our unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. We’re excited that our premium teas and welcoming store atmosphere have been flourishing in places around the world, and we’re excited to continue growing.
HOW WE HELP OUR DRINK BUSINESS OWNERS GROW, TOO
Our expansion worldwide means we’re more than prepared to help tea franchise owners like you become part of an international bubble tea sensation. From our pioneering days with the popular milk foam tea to our seasonal menus and holiday favorites, we like to keep things interesting for your guests and help you push the boundaries of bubble tea.
We can help guide you through ownership as Gong cha works to continue growing. From onboarding and training to ongoing support from master franchisees and our corporate team, we’ve got everything you need to get started and greet a steady stream of guests.
MAKE HISTORY WITH THE TEA FRANCHISE POWERHOUSE
Ready to become part of something big? As we keep growing around the world, while maintaining our Taiwanese roots, we want franchisees like you to join our franchise family. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our history and see how we can help transform your future with bubble tea.