China Food

Transfiguration of Wen he you

A 6031 Wen he you, to be the Disney of Chinese food industry.

In the eyes of local people, this is an old Changsha restaurant with authentic taste. Stinky tofu and all kinds of fried food are good. As for spicy crayfish, young people like it best.


Outsiders will regard this place as the “local Wangfujing Street”, a place more than the fire palace in Changsha. It is one of the sightseeing spots that must be punched in Changsha. It often ranks more than 1000 places, and there are so many people and people that you can’t be wrong.


If anyone hasn’t been to wenheyou, you can learn a little about surfing the Internet: most of the shooting materials about Changsha in the mobile phones of China’s Internet celebrities are produced in wenheyou, a modern shopping mall. It is equipped with a theme amusement park covering an area of 20000 square meters, which mainly focuses on the nostalgia of Changsha in the 1980s. Fashion is wrapped in retro style, which is full of smoke and fire, and the smoke is also steaming out a sense of fashion.


Listen to what the company’s management team says about themselves: “we are a cultural company, and our vision is to be the Disney of Chinese food industry.”


Song Qianqian, the investor of wenheyou and the founder of Jiahua capital, thinks that he has found this culture in the disorderly super Wen he you. “It connects emotion and mind and breeds deep humanistic feelings.” It seems that this is a cultural investment.


Wenheyou has benefited a lot from the cultural quality. In the past, they had a Lobster Restaurant with an area of 1400 square meters, with an annual sales of more than 100 million yuan. In terms of Ping efficiency, it is not inferior to Haidilao (the highest annual sales of a single store reached 55 million yuan, covering an area of 600-1000 square meters).


“But no matter how well the one billion yuan is done, it is only a very good business hotel.” Wen Heyou CEO Feng Bin said in an interview with Miaotou.


It is said that at present, more than 6 billion copies of self-made media have been exposed in Changsha. So, how did Wen Heyou evolve from a local catering brand to a cultural brand covering young consumers across the country? Has this evolution succeeded? Has wenheyou’s business model changed in essence?

Three months ago, Miaotou had a discussion with Feng bin, CEO of wenheyou, on the above issues, which was compiled and published in the column of deep case of Miaotou (former Huxiang Pro) on September 21.

When strong brand meets “weak” commercial real estate


Two years ago, Wen Heyou’s new store in Hisense square in Changsha caused quite a stir. According to Feng bin, CEO of wenheyou, even Yu Liang, chairman of Vanke, came to visit and study.


Yu Liang said at that time that he would not first look at Changsha when he looked at commercial real estate. Even if he arrived in Changsha, he would not see Hisense square first. But because Wen and you are here, the effect is still so good, so we decided to take a look.


Before the birth of Hisense Plaza store, the most closely bound with “wenheyou” were all kinds of Changsha snacks: wenheyou old Changsha fried club, wenheyou big sausage, wenheyou stinky tofu. The company’s favorite work is wenheyou’s old Changsha Lobster Restaurant (there are three in total). It is said by foreign tourists that they must punch in when they come to Changsha. The local people are also enough to participate. From the performance, we can see that the annual sales of the 1400 square meter Dufu jiangge store is more than 100 million yuan.


The demolition in 2017 led to the business suspension of Dufu jiangge store, which is the beginning of the sudden change of wenheyou brand painting style. In order to reduce the loss of familiar customers around, the company’s management plans to take the original site as the center and look for a new settlement nearby.


The reason for the change of wenheyou’s painting style is more unexpected than the demolition. After contact with Hisense Plaza, Feng bin and others occasionally learned about the potential rules for investment promotion of domestic commercial real estate, and the inequality of the hidden rules made the former unhappy.


Don’t get me wrong. Commercial real estate is the victim of inequality. It refers to the fact that most commercial real estate companies have little choice in front of the strong brands represented by Starbucks (mainly by foreign investors), and cooperate with them in a way that does not make money or even discount money. Most of the management teams of wenheyou have studied abroad and have long completed the disenchantment of foreign brands. When they returned home, they realized that the reality required them to bow down.


After being upset, Feng bin and other team members wondered what led to this situation? The results of the following survey shocked this group of young people who had no knowledge of commercial real estate. The most common answer they got through interviews was, I don’t know.


“Most people who do commercial real estate can’t explain why they do this. I built a shopping mall for whom to give on the first floor. The best is Hermes and Lv. They don’t come, I give it to fast fashion, Zara, UNIQLO. I’ll give cosmetics before they come. I’ll give jewelry before the cosmetics come. ” Feng Bin said to us, “the location of the door is basically equipped with a Starbucks, a pizza hut, and a KFC, which is standard. It doesn’t make sense, because it’s what everybody does. “


Only a few people will say, because there is no good product supply for Chinese brands. They also want to give Chinese food a floor. But who can hold it?


Feng bin told us that the birth of super Wen he you was directly related to the impact of this incident on them. Together, several partners decided to take the opportunity to prove one thing to the national commercial real estate practitioners, that is, there is another way to live, one that does not have to rely on foreign brands. They have won enough renovation area of the first floor from Hisense Plaza (no domestic brand has been allowed to do so before) to focus on the creativity accumulated in the past few years. At the same time, it puts forward another idea of sharing, that is, Hisense gives Wen Heyou a high discount on rent, and Wen Heyou brings a passenger flow of no less than 10000 people a day, which is confirmed by counting chopsticks.


Facts have proved that this condition agreed by Hisense Plaza, which was in trouble in operation at that time, was extremely correct. At present, the annual consumption of wenheyou is 8 million.

Take off the dining cap


Even in the development history of Chinese food for more than 20 years, Wen Heyou’s transformation can be called special. Yu Liang’s visit proves this special – no catering brand can attract a large number of leading leaders of commercial real estate to visit and study. Normally speaking, shouldn’t it be mainly catering enterprises that learn from catering enterprises? Of course, Feng Bin’s answer to this question is that they are not catering enterprises, although he also admits that wenheyou in the Lobster Restaurant stage is still a catering enterprise.


Wenheyou’s cultural and creative route is also different from those catering brands eager to give themselves more cultural connotation. Quanjude is a business card of Beijing culture, but no one will regard Quanjude as a cultural company. What’s more, those Chinese food brands that intend to highlight their cultural characteristics tend to compromise with the market in the end. They return to the most reliable chain operation mode, opening small stores, reducing menus, and pursuing standardization, scale and refinement. Similarly, no one will regard Haidilao as the representative of Sichuan and Chongqing culture, including Haidilao itself.


Therefore, from this point of view, wenheyou is running counter to the orthodox food and beverage idea. How can we open the shop bigger and bigger (the Beijing Yingke Center store, which is being renovated, covers an area of 50000 square meters) and pursues uniqueness (Feng bin says that every wenheyou store should be completely different)?


For example, there are still a large number of catering brands operated by Jinwen Heyou (including joining in), but the taste is no longer the first thing people think about when they mention wenheyou. Even in the eyes of some foreign diners, the food experience provided by super wenheyou can only be described as ordinary. This is in sharp contrast to Wen bin, the founder of Wen he you, who practiced the skill of picking shrimp. It is said that Wenbin knows when and where to buy shrimp to ensure the best cooking taste and taste.


These changes are expected by Feng bin. He plans to gradually take back the right to use the brand name. The ideal state of the future is that there is no other wenheyou brand circulation in the market except for a few old stores and super wenheyou in Changsha.


The intention of this is to avoid causing user mental interference and some intuitive judgment of consumers’ mind. “Consumer psychology is a very interesting thing. It’s all about Wen and you, but you don’t want to eat Wen and you. Consumers are really tired of doing everything with a brand. ” Feng bin therefore judged that frequent brand exposure may not be a good thing, especially for young people who pursue personality. Therefore, the main strategic direction of the company is to build super stores, and the first reaction of customers to Wen he you should also be these big stores – Super Wen he you.


Super Wen he you attracted the attention of the whole country, so that Feng bin and others suddenly found the power of Wen he you to the whole country. Of course, the most important thing is ability. If you show people by the brand of food and beverage, this road will be extremely difficult. There is an unwritten saying in the catering industry that it is difficult for catering brands from low-level cities to enter high-speed cities, because the brand value is not enough, the commercial value will be greatly reduced. However, the brand potential brought by super Wen he you is totally different. It directly drags Wen and you into a new realm. Even if the latter is not a cultural brand, it will certainly not be a catering brand.


“You can see that super Wen he you in Changsha has a construction area of 20000 square meters and an annual revenue of more than four billion yuan. The shop that was demolished before, with 1400 square meters, is worth more than one billion yuan. From the aspect of turf efficiency, it seems to be very poor. “


Feng bin changed his words: “but no matter how well it is done, it is only a hotel with a very good business.”


Three values of super Wen he you


From 2019, Feng bin and his team began to attack the national goal. They want to open about 20 super Wenhe friends in major cities of the country in five years.  


The first store in Changsha was born by accident, lacking of systematic planning and long-term positioning in advance. In the process of expansion, we should consider whether to localize, why and how to localize. Finally, Wen he you put forward the triple value of super Wen he you——


The first value is the city value. The so-called city value is to judge what kind of buildings a city needs from the perspective of a city planner. If gymnasiums, art galleries and libraries are needed, why can’t Wen and you in their opinion?


“There is a big difference between having Wen and you in this city and not having them.” “We want the city to retain some old buildings and memories, while increasing the vitality of the city,” Feng said


This is also an important reason why they decided to make Wen and you bigger and bigger (the area of Beijing store is 2.5 times of that of Changsha store). Because the volume is not large enough to load more content, it is naturally unable to enhance the influence.


The second value is merchant value. Feng bin told us that there are three criteria for wenheyou to introduce Merchants: first, the existence time should not be less than 10 years, which indicates that it is not closely related to the city; second, it does not accept chain brands, and the uniqueness of super wenheyou depends on the uniqueness of the merchants; third, good business means being loved by the public.


Of course, the merchants who meet the three criteria often have a common problem, that is, they lack or do not have the ability to commercialize at all. Usually, it’s the laid-off women who are reemployed, or the husband and wife shop. “After earning a little money, I’m very hard and tired. I’m sure my descendants would not like to take over this class. I’d rather take 5000 yuan as my salary and blow air conditioning in an office building. I’m not willing to set up a stall in the street to earn 230000 yuan.” “But such a brand, often the soul of a city, in our opinion, is much more interesting than those boring chain brands.”


This is the second value wenheyou hopes to provide these merchants with a shelter from the wind and rain, to do commercialization and inheritance work for them, so as to avoid their gradual demise in the process of urbanization.


The third value is customer value. Feng bin revealed that wenheyou’s customer base is characterized by “two 70%”, with 70% under 35 years old and 70% with women. They want to offer this group a way of entertainment that is different from other cities. Born in 1983, Feng bin is younger in appearance, but he often thinks about how to make young people less miserable.


“These young people who have just come out of society are facing pressure to rent or buy a house. Their wages are not high and they have nowhere to go. They can’t afford to spend thousands of yuan a night in nightclubs and bars. We hope to provide a space large enough for him to relax and escape from reality for a short time. So we have put a lot of thought into the design, and the lighting set should have enough sense of detachment and be isolated from the reality. “


Chengpin mode, or Wanda model,

Or super text and friends mode?


Super wenheyou has proved another possibility to commercial real estate, but its strength inevitably leads the story to the same end — the story of foreign brands and commercial real estate that have been staged. Feng Bin said with a smile that even if they receive a free invitation, they may not be interested. It seems that super wenheyou is another form of “strong foreign brand”. Of course, their scarcity is not enough to have a key impact on the commercial real estate industry.


Super Wen he you’s pickiness is reflected in the site selection. They require that they must find a foothold in the center of the old city and circle by walking distance. This requirement can not be met, not to mention shopping malls, is the invitation of many local governments, Wen and you are not budged. Feng Bin said that if there is no suitable shopping center cooperation, it can not be ruled out to find independent places to build stores.


The existing form of “store in store, store in store” of super wenheyou is not enough to fully expose its own shortcomings. However, with the opening of more and more stores, commercial real estate companies that can meet the appetite of super Wen and you are bound to be very rare. Once they move away from commercial real estate, super Wenhe will have to face drainage problems (not to say that there is no flow of super Wen and you), and the second is to solve them Never wait in line. In the shopping center, super wenheyou doesn’t have to worry about this problem at all. The former has a high degree of business format, and has the effect of gathering customers. The queuing problem can also be alleviated by other formats (customers can hang out in other places of the shopping center when customers are equal).


In the visible future, wenheyou’s business model is no different from that of the second landlord of commercial real estate (Feng bin also admits this point), but in terms of business capacity, it is far higher than the property holding mode of Chengpin bookstore or Wanda Plaza. They also have to take into account such as land acquisition, property management and other traditional commercial real estate companies to do homework, whether the team ability to keep up with is unknown.


If we move out independently and compete with shopping centers with larger business area and more abundant formats, can wenheyou’s attraction to customers only depend on triple value? Wenheyou Beijing Yingke Center store, which is being renovated, is no more than 100 meters away from Taikoo Hui (located in the core business district of Sanlitun). The latter is also famous for its creativity and fashion. Once it opens, the problem will be more realistic.


Feng Bin’s current thinking is to continue to increase the richness of wenheyou’s business forms and introduce external brands. However, this idea has a natural conflict with wenheyou’s investment promotion standards, and they have to sacrifice efficiency to offset this conflict.

According to Feng bin, Nike hopes to open a trendy shoe store in wenheyou to sell limited shoes that are not available on the market. “I think it’s a good idea and we have a very overlapping customer base.” Feng bin told us, “but what I told Nike is that whether you use Nike or AJ, I have to do the design.”


And the richness of this format is bound to have an upper limit. Feng bin believes that 80% of the business in the store should be made up of catering, because there is no shortage of people. At the same time, catering has a natural cultural attribute, which does not conflict with wenheyou’s “gourmet Disney”. We took the opportunity to ask him, in an ideal state, what is the proportion of income from catering, and he replied that it was 50%.


On the whole, however, Feng bin believes that the competition between Wen Heyou and commercial real estate is not the main theme. Their comparison with the latter is like pineapple and pineapple, which is similar enough, but two kinds of fruits.


“Our core competencies are completely different.” He explained that Wen Heyou has a stronger cultural attribute and is more like a kind of City Cultural Museum than a shopping mall. He added that even if commercial real estate has the ability of Wen and you, these people don’t need to make the hard money.


I conveyed Feng Bin’s ideas to some commercial real estate practitioners, who also agreed. One of them told me that we might as well regard Wen Heyou’s current practice of “quasi commercial real estate” as a short-term behavior. The best idea is to take part in the negotiation with the government based on the cultural and tourism positioning, which is easier than taking land from the government as a commercial real estate company (all the good places available are occupied by other shopping centers). He also analyzed that in today’s day when local governments are pushing forward the night economy, such stories should be better told.

Author: Liu Yuhao; source: Miaotou app (ID: huxiupro), reprinted with authorization. Join the community: Cherry (wechat: 15240428449); business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246). A week’s hot news of the high quality original selection column of innovation interview lingting new Xu brand trend insight packaging sentinel food people are watching

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