| Puerto Rico

Gong cha signs 30-store franchise agreement in Puerto Rico

Franchise partner SID Tea LLC launched the bubble tea chain on the US territory in May 2024 and plans to use it existing licensed portfolio of quick-service restaurants to open multi-brand sites

Gong cha is one of the world’s largest bubble tea chains with 2,200 stores across 24 markets | Photo credit: Gong cha


Taiwanese bubble tea chain Gong cha has signed a 30-unit franchise agreement with multi-brand quick-service group SID Tea LLC to accelerate outlet growth in the US territory of Puerto Rico. 

In March 2024, Gong cha launched a direct franchising programme to accelerate outlet growth in the Americas and debuted in Puerto Rico with two stores in partnership with SID Tea LLC two months later.  

SID Tea LLC, which counts Subway, Wingstop and Acai Express among its licensed restaurant brands, is Gong cha’s first direct franchisor. 

“Puerto Rico is traditionally a coffee market, and although there has been rising interest in bubble tea – especially among Gen Z and millennial consumers – there isn’t an island-wide bubble tea brand. We are here to fill that gap,” said Lyle Swanson, President, SID Tea LLC. 

SID Tea LLC expects to open two further Gong cha stores in Puerto Rico this summer and add a fifth before the end of 2024. The franchisee has previously expressed interest in opening multi-brand sites to ‘create operational synergies’ and drive footfall from its restaurant brands to its Gong cha stores.  

“Gong cha quickly validated its ease of operation, and seamlessly complements our existing brands. Based on these results, we’re delighted to make a larger commitment to grow Gong cha across the island,” said Mario Gaztambide, Director of Operations, SID Tea LLC. 

Founded in Taiwan in 2006, Gong cha is one of the world’s largest bubble tea chains with 2,200 stores across 24 markets. The business made its mainland US debut in 2014 and now operates 225 stores across 20 US states under a master franchise model. 

In addition to Puerto Rico, Gong cha has signed master franchise agreements to open stores in Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala – with its first site in Honduras set to open this year. 

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