Fast-casual restaurant group Bafang Yunji reportedly acquires 69% stake in value-focused café chain Dante Coffee as Taiwan’s hospitality industry continues to avoid the worst of coronavirus disruption seen globally
Dante Coffee was established in 1993 and operates 67 stores across Taiwan | Photo: José Jiun-Shian Wu
Reports of the acquisition, made for an undisclosed sum, emerged from Taiwan’s CNA news outlet. Established in 1993, Dante Coffee operates 67 stores across Taiwan, as well as several outlets in Indonesia and Kuwait. In recent years the value-focused coffee chain has increasingly invested in digital infrastructure, including app-based and touch-screen ordering, e-voucher payments and coffee subscriptions.
Dante Coffee is currently the fifth largest coffee chain in Taiwan, and trails behind market leaders, Louisa Coffee and Starbucks, which operate close to 500 stores each across the densely populated East Asian
country. However, a sizeable investment partner such as Bafang Yunji could help kick-start outlet growth for the veteran café business.
Founded in 1998, dumpling restaurant group Bafang Yunji operates more than 1,000 sites across Taiwan and Hong Kong. Annual revenues at the firm are reported to be NT$4.83bn (US$169m).
Expanding into Taiwan’s popular coffee shop segment could be a savvy investment for Bafang Yunji. The country’s rapid Covid-19 response in early 2020, which included a strict international travel ban, as well as stringent testing, quarantine measures and population screening, has enabled it to avoid many of the lockdown measures that have brought much of the global hospitality industry to its knees.
As of 3 October 2020, Taiwan had recorded just 517 coronavirus cases among its 23.8 million citizens since the beginning of the pandemic, with the vast majority of those infections imported from other countries and community transmission near zero.