财新传媒
位置:博客 > 王海 > International Fast Food Needs a Humble Approach to Grow in China

13
2013

International Fast Food Needs a Humble Approach to Grow in China

In comparison to the complexity of the wild growth of domestic brands, the shortcomings of the international Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are more obvious and evidential. By far, Yum, McDonald and Starbucks are the outright winners in China, largely thanks to China’s government over-spending of near 10 trillion RMB to counter the global financial crisis in 2008.  Some of other well-known internationals also try to bandwagon with this hyper growth, but soon landed on the hard reality. Right now, the ambition of these three dominant brands is also curbed due to the staggering economy and the constant and long-overdue food scandals rocking China’s food supply chain.

In 2010, one of American top-five hamburg chains expanded into China and looked for people to run the operation, requiring an experience working at international chain and managing more than 50 stores. As a bureaucratic hiring procedure, it is a safe and uncomplicated bet. After three years and 7 stores opened, the brand seems not going to go anywhere. Its profitability and expansion rate lag far behind many domestic foreign fast food brands. 

MyCafe as sub-branch of McDonald is modeled a similar style as Starbucks in China, trying to take a piece of pie from burgeoning growth of Starbucks. In most of the cases, McDonald fast food and MyCafe share the same store with two separate counters. When the fast food counter sells coffee at 8RMB, MyCafe’s lowest price tag is at 12 RMB. MyCafe also sells cakes and other desserts, which doesn’t match with the overall atmosphere of a typical McDonald store. The plan is to open 1000 MyCafe in such a model of a store in a store. In addition, MyCafe also has a take-out water-bar model, which sells nearly completely different products than MyCafe's store in a store. Two concepts in the same names can simply be confusing.  Against all wisdoms for a brand positioning, its destiny is sealed from the very beginning.

Burger King has come to China for 9 years. Unlike the big three, its early strategy is to franchise, and its franchisees are no amateur in food business and have ample capitals. However, based on the current model (similar model as most of the international QSRs in China), it only opened 72 stores after 8 years, and its franchisees are losing money. Currently, BK’s joint venture tries to revamp BK’s business in China. However, it is likely to be another challenging endeavor in a very rudimentary and entrepreneurial China. Its timing cannot be worse when China’s fast food business is tumbling due to economy distress and supply chain woes, and there is no sign in the coming decade that the economy could back on its previous level.

There are many more similar stories to tell, and their shortcomings are all so similar and obvious. During the same time, China’s domestic brands mimicked after KFC and McDonald are flourishing and some brands open more than couple thousands of stores.

Despite of the success of Yum, McDonald and Starbucks so far, their models are more exceptional than exemplary. It is not about if chicken can sell better than beef or the positioning to appeal younger generation in image or not, it is about the following rudimentary elements: price to sub-conscious mind of the targeted clients, product assortment, geographic location, differentiation in a defined environment and expansion model. It has to be a package of substantial and visible values to a clientele who has evolved to be much more sophisticated than 10 years ago and to a market which is a lot of more complicated than America half century ago.

The American brands have already lost its exotic appeal and its first-mover advantage in China. The strength of the international company has always embedded in its depth of knowledge, resources and management. When a comparable value is evidential to its targeted client no matter what the product it is, the market is always there even in adverse condition. The simple duplication of a American model or a over-bureaucratic structure, which cannot translate the strength into the market identity, would alienate the market and seal the fate of a valid business from its start.

推荐 12

总访问量:博主简介

王海 王海

个人分类

最新评论

  • sunpring垄断 2017-09-30

    用输油管线对抗范德比尔特铁路提价

  • dat21市场的深度和活跃:咖啡与啤酒浅谈 2017-05-01

    咖啡消费在中国定价太高,曲高和寡。应该降价,大众化才有市场,本来不过一种日常饮料而已,定价10元差不多。

  • 财新网友 在 咖啡(二):没有“无咖啡因”的“咖啡文化” 2010-04-26

    非常赞成博主的这一观点,即咖啡文化的崛起要先有喝咖啡的人。人是任何文化的载体和创造者,没有喝咖啡的人就没有咖啡文化。愚以为,不管是茶还是咖啡,都有两个作用,自给自足的消费和社交消费。茶,这一东方珍品,极好地满足了中国人的自足消费。咖啡的突破点也是自足消费与社交消费两方面。就社交消费而言,要出现喝咖啡的人是需要条件的。第一,有钱。能消费得起咖啡。第二,有独立思想。有独立思想,不人云亦云,才有沟通交流分享的需求,才需要一个分享思想,交流知识、辩论话题的社交环境。观点有交流必然有不同,有不同必然有辩论。茶,喜静,不喜争,在这种环境下咖啡比茶更合适。可是,一味崇尚顺从、听话、权威的文化与教育,难以培养出有独立思想的大多数。难以形成规模性的社交需求人群,我们还处在饭局/酒局的统治时代,理性的社交辩论与交流尚远。

  • christinalgh咖啡:经济发展的指示剂 - 中国0.02公斤/人/年 (修正) 2010-04-20

    事物总是在演变和发展着的,中国每人喝4kg咖啡时,说明世界上有足够的咖啡让中国人每人能喝4kg,否则就不存在中国每人喝4kg这个前提了。中国的咖啡消费崛起后肯定会大幅增加全球消费,而全球产量增幅不明显,消费〉供给会使价格上涨,导致供给增加,需求减少,各方因素会相互平衡,寻求新的平横点。届时,谁有更多的资源谁就能保住自己的咖啡消费。

  • dk163中国食品问题再探讨 2014-08-04

    更准确的说法是:食品问题源头必然是原材料供应量问题。

  • 翠屏湖畔『简单逻辑』放飞金凤凰 2012-09-26

    很好

  • dat21美国的小富美 - 藏富于民 2014-02-26

    关键还是保障个人自由,明确私有产权。中国还没有这个共识呢,自由不保,富不过三代,难免没干劲。

  • 梅边小妖美国的小富美 - 藏富于民 2014-02-26

    希望中国能改善创业环境。其实具备成为小富美能力的人不在少数。首先可不可以让租金降下来。

  • Wariolsb活着 2010-05-01

    这是中西文化中很不同的一个点

  • Wariolsb美国的小富美 - 藏富于民 2014-02-26

    希望能多一点这类的文章,介绍美国的中上层阶级,少一点美国的妖魔化描述。

  • 登陆财新网星巴克咖啡高价之争所暴露的中国特色 2013-10-22

    一个事有人说好有人说坏是正常的,说明大家的独立判断力还没失去,还没有唯利是论。

  • Judylu中国食品问题追踪溯源 2013-09-22

    有许多的餐馆的牛排价在40元左右,看来以后要少吃牛排

  • 王海如何在中国开一家咖啡馆 2013-06-12

    对,这个Starbucks全球知名度有直接关系。星巴克所向披靡的地方(除了美国外)都是咖啡新兴国家,如日本、韩国、中国、英国... 具体为什么要讲一个很长的故事。 具体到marketing approach很难说。星巴克一般是以店带名气,直到一定规模再做marketing

  • april96415如何在中国开一家咖啡馆 2013-06-12

    您认为星巴克在中国的marketing approach为何如此成功?这是和公司的glocalisation (not a typo here)相关?

  • 不迁徙的候鸟咖啡 – 先知饮料,魔鬼市场 2012-09-05

    突然想到,是不是可以把泛咖啡类消费品综合起来在进行横向比较呢,比如加入茶叶和烟草。在大陆社交和提神的媒介通常是烟草,和部分地区的功夫茶。算是偏好的差异吧