Pan Asian concept inks local franchise deal

10-year-old company out of Atlanta eyes seven area stores

A Pan Asian restaurant concept with 13 stores in Georgia and Alabama has signed a franchise agreement to build seven stores in Middle Tennessee.

Tin Drum was founded a decade ago in Atlanta and plans to open eight locations in addition to the sites it is eyeing locally. The company was last year named "One to Watch" by industry pub QSR and last year posted sales of about $10 million. Its franchisee is Canusa Enterprises, a company formed in February that includes some Canadian investors as well as Fletcher Elkington of Memphis-based Elkington Real Estate Group.

"After thorough market research, we're confident in our decision to begin development of Tin Drum in TennesseeNashville specifically," said Steven Chan, Tin Drum's founder and CEO. "This is our largest franchise deal to date."

Tin Drum stores will be designed to feel like a street-side cafe in Asia with edgy, urban and upbeat decor the company says reflect Chan's childhood in Hong Kong. The concept's menu features more than 35 items and 15 sauces influenced by Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian cultures.

"We selected Tin Drum for the exceptional quality of the food, the growth potential of a Pan Asian concept and how we felt about doing business with Steven Chan," said Elkington. "We believe Tin Drum is one of the most unique concepts in America and believe the Nashville market is a perfect fit."