The Minor Food Group Plc will continue to operate the Sizzler International restaurant chain in Thailand after signing a five-year renewal contract with the chain’s US-based parent.

The Thai-based company, which also controls domestic chains of The Pizza Company, Dairy Queen, Swensen’s and Chicken Treat, has agreed to pay a monthly franchise for Sizzler amounting to 3% of gross sales.

Minor currently controls 19 Sizzler outlets and according to the terms of the deal it must also open at least five new outlets over the next five years. However, company CEO Bill Heinecke told the Bangkok Post that Minor is planning to open up to 11 Sizzler outlets, with an investment of up to 20m baht (US$450,000). It will also spend about 40m baht renovating eight outlets over the course of next year.

Heinecke said that the planned expansion would make Sizzler’s Thai operation the third largest in the world. Thailand is currently the chain’s fourth largest market, behind the US (400 outlets), Australia (30) and Japan (22).

Minor is in the process of expanding its customer base by adding lower-priced fare and some local style dishes, and the company expects 2. 8m visits to Sizzler restaurants this year alone, up from 2.2m last year. Next year, Minor hopes to see visits increase by 30%.

Minor’s success with the chain has also apparently led to discussions with the parent company over whether Minor could establish Sizzler outlets in other countries.