China Food

“Ba man” wants to copy 20 Zhang Tianyi

After six years of development, the youth entrepreneurship representative who was selected by the times at that time is no longer the only focus. However, Baman has withstood the test of the cycle, established a differential competitive advantage in the rice flour track with low entry threshold and serious homogenization, and still stepped on the industry momentum of Chinese food chain brand thousands of cities and thousands of stores after the basic strength and single store model are polished and mature.
this article is reproduced from new business intelligence NBT (ID: new business trend), author: Xiao Chao, editor: Shao Lele.
Baman rice noodle’s office has not been moved, and it is still in Zhongguancun Chuangye street.   It is considered to be the entrepreneurship training base for Peking University students. It stands out in the call for mass entrepreneurship and innovation after 2013. Even now, some infrastructure is slightly old. Zhang Tianyi, a graduate of Peking University who founded Baman rice noodles, came here in 2014. As a representative, he has been reported by mainstream media such as people’s daily and CCTV for many times. The photo of receiving the premier’s visit in May 2015 is still hanging on the wall of Zhang Tianyi’s office.   On the other side of the wall, the only two portraits of this office, Yu Yi, is a portrait of Chairman Mao. Zhang Tianyi is from Hunan, and Baman rice noodles are also Hunan rice noodles. Before Ba man, there were almost no special Hunan rice noodle shops in Beijing because of the heavy oil and spicy. Therefore, the seed users of Baman rice noodles are all from Hunan people in Beijing. Among the early dividends of microblog and wechat, Baman has established hundreds of thousands of fans.   Three large bookshelves full also occupy a lot of space in this office. Zhang Tianyi, a legal major, values logic and claims to be a character of “reading the catalogue first”. At the beginning of Ba man’s establishment, the strategy of several steps was determined. 50 Direct stores are the first step, and the plan of thousands of stores through franchising is the second step. Takeout, retailing and other era dividends rise and fall one after another. Based on a set of careful and self consistent methodology, Ba man also acts as a participant early.   After obtaining four financing intensively two years before its establishment, Baman only financed once in 2018, followed by two rounds in the half year of 2021, and the financing amount exceeded 100 million for the first time. This coincided with the financing boom in the catering industry. After the last round of Internet plus dining investment enthusiasm declined, the capital finally turned its attention to offline catering.   Highly decentralized, highly competitive and labor-intensive, few catering enterprises can go through this cycle, and Baman is one of them.   When Baman entered the stadium in 2014, rice noodles was a remote track, and the Chinese food industry lacked standardized and digital infrastructure. Even now, according to the report released by narrow door restaurant, the scale of rice flour category in China will be nearly 150 billion in 2020, with more than 400000 rice flour stores, 10 times the number of 40000 Lanzhou Ramen stores. The brand concentration of rice noodle track is less than 1%, which is a typical super category with category and no brand, but growing at a high speed at the same time.   After six years of development, the youth entrepreneurship representative who was selected by the times was no longer the only focus. However, Baman has withstood the test of the cycle, established a differential competitive advantage in the rice flour track with low entry threshold and serious homogenization, and still stepped on the industry momentum of Chinese food chain brand thousands of cities and thousands of stores after the basic strength and single store model are polished and mature.   Up to now, Baman has about 60 Direct stores in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. At the same time, the “maker plan” under the franchise mode has also been opened, and more than 30 maker stores have been opened. It is planned that the total number of stores will reach 400 by the end of this year and 1000 by the end of 2022.   In Baman’s seventh year, we talked with Zhang Tianyi about Baman’s new plan for the second step, the preparations already made and not yet done, and our views on the catering industry.
The following is a dialogue between the new business intelligence NBT (WeChat official account ID:newbusinesstrend) and Zhang Tian Yi, founder of the rice noodles.
thousand store plan
new business intelligence NBT: what is the maker program? Why make a maker plan?   Zhang Tianyi: when Ba man was founded, we planned a strategy of several steps. The first step is to open 50 Direct stores in about five years. The second step is to open 1000 stores by franchise after 50 stores.   Franchising is an expansion method that has been verified by many brands. For example, 711 has 500 Direct stores and 19500 franchise stores. Our plan is to build a standardized system with 50 Direct stores, have the ability of self-management, and then open the system and empower the outside world.   In fact, we completed the event of 50 stores by the end of 2019. However, due to the delay of one year due to the epidemic, the franchise model will not be officially launched until January 2021. We call it the maker plan internally.   For a long time, China has mixed franchising with quick recruitment, and the whole market has no special norms. In the past two years, it will be obvious that the degree of standardization is improved, and the operation ability of catering enterprises as the main body is also enhanced. Moreover, with the improvement of the chain rate of the industry, franchising has become one of the tools to make enterprises do large-scale, which is also the state shown in Japan and the United States today.  《 New business intelligence NBT: what is the difference between maker program and ordinary franchise?   Zhang Tianyi: joining is a very subjective word: my brand is good, so you join me to make money. We call it maker program, which has something to do with my personal experience. I opened my first store in 2014, a small store of 100000 yuan and 30 square meters, which is located next to Xianfeng k2vc. I didn’t know anything at that time. He had to give me money. I said that’s OK. Give us some. Then he became the first investment institution of Ba man.   Now that I’ve invested, I’ll catch someone and let them tell me what kind of people to recruit, how to manage the company and ask me any questions. Xianfeng’s post investment service did give me a lot of suggestions, which helped me get through the earliest period of ignorance and develop bit by bit.   So one Zhang Tianyi can open 50 stores, and Ba man wants to open 1000 stores. In essence, just find another 20 Zhang Tianyi. So what we have to do, like Xianfeng found me very early, is to find those underestimated Zhang Tianyi, find him, vote for him and hatch him. Therefore, our maker planning department is called maker incubation department.  《 New business intelligence NBT: it should be different from investment. Xianfeng will only invest one Zhang Tianyi in the rice flour track. I hope you grow very big, but will it be difficult for you to find 20 Zhang Tianyi in a single rice flour track?   Zhang Tianyi: I want to find these partners. They also have such enthusiasm and potential for opening stores. This is the task I want to solve. After I solve it, I can’t find a few Zhang Tianyi to open 10000 stores. Less than 100 is enough. I am mainly a sponsor, providing a value amplification process.  《 New business intelligence NBT: what capabilities do you need to rebuild or reorganize to be a maker rather than a direct marketer?   Zhang Tianyi: Baman was originally apple and closed. Now we want to make Android and open source. The most essential thing is that the store should make money and help makers make money, that is, the single store model should be polished well. Ba man has been focusing on this matter for the past five years. He has no financing and is not in a hurry to open more stores quickly.   Some operation management mechanisms are also prepared in advance. For example, there is an online shop inspection system, which can be completed in two or three minutes with a mobile phone, rather than driving for two hours and seeing only three shops a day. In this way, our store operation can be fed back in days.   The user console has already been built. The data of which store each Ba man consumer is used to, the frequency of re purchase, the contribution of customer orders and product preferences can be analyzed to a single store, which is operated by the headquarters. Online traffic platform operation ability, tiktok, jitter, and little red book can also be empowered.   Changes in management logic are needed. For the team, we are now more of a knowledge service and post investment service. The original customers may be C-end customers, but now they are b-end partners. Therefore, indicators such as maker satisfaction will be added to the assessment of all departments this year.   For example, originally in the direct store system, we were internal horse racing. The store’s operating performance ranked from No. 1 to No. 50. The first one will get a lot of bonuses, and the last one will be punished. Now it has become a hotel with positive incentives. The last few will not be punished, but there is no reward. The reward decreases gradually from top to bottom.   Of course, our management is still very heavy. About one district manager will be assigned to every 15 Chuangke stores, which is the same as the management standard of Direct stores. There are many other franchise stores. One person manages 50 and 100 stores.  《 New business intelligence NBT: where does the reward for Chuang Hotel come from? What fees will ba man charge?   Zhang Tianyi: we will collect the maker’s brand fee. This part of the fee shaves off our own labor cost. The rest is not counted as profit, but gathered into a horse racing fund to return the money to the maker in the form of reward.   In addition to the brand fee, there will be management fee, which is generated from the management support of the brand background, including pre store training, daily operation management, user operation, online traffic platform operation, etc. The last is the cost of the supply chain. The headquarters provides mature products and R & D new products.  《 New business intelligence NBT: how is the maker program going now? What characteristics and standards are the makers that Ba man needs?   Zhang Tianyi: we have opened more than 30 Chuang hotels. When screening makers, we are more alert to two types of people: those who just want to open a shop, earn money and do some small business may not be needed; We have a lot of assets and only regard Ba man as a financial investment. We don’t think it’s enough to choose him.   Most of the makers who have been recruited are about 30 years old and have worked for 8 to 10 years. They may not be short of money, but they don’t want to be workers anymore. Find something to do and start the second curve. Ba man is a shop run by a group of people without catering experience. If it inspires them and thinks they can do it, we will like such people very much.   Catering is diligent. Opening a good store does not depend on how smart people are, but on the investment of the store manager and the implementation of standards. Therefore, we often like inexperienced makers. Previous experience may lead to strong personal judgment of the store manager, which is contrary to the standards, which is an obstacle.   It doesn’t matter if we have more money or less. We first open a store and teach him the experience of opening a store. The first store performs well, and then open the second and third stores.   There are also some soft screening conditions, such as whether this person has entrepreneurial potential in chat.
new business intelligence NBT: do you have to meet and talk to everyone in person?   Zhang Tianyi: I’ll see and talk in person. I talked to the top 50 maker candidates in Beijing one-on-one. After the chat, basically fix the portraits and standards for the team, and then let the team contact more people. In the first half of the year, I met hundreds of people.  《 New business intelligence NBT: has catering reached the stage where it can be done without catering background?   Zhang Tianyi: of course. Because our system is standard enough. So that if you go to the store, the product operation can be taught in three minutes; Operation management has also been disassembled into standard actions, which follow the training process and end in 5 to 7 days.   Our training process is like taking the driver’s license test. Some are online teaching, some are offline teaching, some are one-to-one counseling, some are one to many classes, there are subject one and subject two. After completion, we work with a certificate, so it’s good to learn with a blank mentality.   The so-called opening a store is copying four things: people, products, space and mode. Copying people means that your training is standardized, copying products means that your supply chain is standardized, copying space means that your location is standardized, and copying mode means that your operation and SOP are standardized, that’s all.
channel layout
new business intelligence NBT: the mature single store model is the replication basis of chain operation. How did Baman’s single store model be explored?   Zhang Tianyi: in fact, it is the process of testing. To test the size of the store with the highest floor efficiency, we opened stores of 30 square meters, 50 square meters, 70 square meters and 90 square meters, up to 200 square meters; To test how to select the location, the shopping center is still on the street, the office building is still SOHO, and the community is still a combination of housing and office.   There are almost 50 or 60 stores. When the data volume is enough, the model can be almost determined and can be copied on a large scale.   Our current site selection is more focused, focusing on the shopping center, which also means that the model is simple. Because the shopping center is standardized, the location of store expansion can also be standardized, which is easy to open. Wanda Yongwang in China is the same. The store area ranges from 60 square meters to 100 square meters. The average monthly income of direct operated mature stores is about 400000, with an investment return cycle of about one year. This is our average, not particularly fast.  《 New business intelligence NBT: if you leave the shopping center, the success rate may not be so high? Because the competitive environment will be more intense.   Zhang Tianyi: the war of resistance against Japan and the war of liberation are staged. We are very clear at this stage. Before we go to 1000 stores, we must open around the shopping center. Then go down to 3000 stores or sink. This is the problem to be discussed and solved in the second stage.  《 New business intelligence NBT: still taking the site selection as an example, many restaurants choose shopping centers, which still rely on price logic and human relations. Is this true for Ba man? How much can this set of standardized and digital mechanisms play in the current system of Ba man?   Zhang Tianyi: our site selection is still based on data. Because our business structure will be somewhat special, one is offline chain, the other is e-commerce, and the market of Baman retail products is mainly in first tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, which means that we can know where these retail users are from the order heat map.   Therefore, when we choose which business districts to go to, we first have data accumulation, not blind selection. For example, we opened our first store in Hangzhou. According to the normal location logic, we must find the best business district, that is, Hubin Yintai. However, when the user operation Department pulled out the heat map of Hangzhou orders, it was found that the hottest place was not Hubin Yintai, but Wulin Square. So we decided to go to Wulin Square. There are also three shopping centers in Wulin Square. We go back to the traditional site selection method, look at network planning, competitive products and people flow, decide one of them, and finally open the store.  《 New business intelligence NBT: before 2020, Baman’s e-commerce sales should not be so large, and the data will not be so accurate. So in the first few stores, it seems that we can’t follow this logic.   Zhang Tianyi: we started to do e-commerce in 2018. First of all, we should refer to no matter how many, because there are hundreds of thousands of orders no matter how small, so we can see the distribution and density.   We didn’t pay much attention to the location of the top ten stores because we didn’t rely on offline traffic at that time. At that time, we were the earliest Hunan rice noodle store in Beijing. My users were all Hunan people in Beijing. We drove to our store to eat noodles from all parts of Beijing.   When we opened more than ten or twenty stores, we made some standardized actions and began to enter the second site selection stage, opening takeout stores first. There is no cost for takeout shops in the business district. There is no need to go in and decorate them. At that time, he cooperated with panda star kitchen and opened nearly 40 takeout stores. Delivery is not the purpose, but to get all the data of the blank business district, and then decide whether to open a formal store in the business district. If you decide to open a store, the historical mission of the takeout store here will be over. Close it.  《 New business intelligence NBT: in 2017, the takeout bonus was relatively large, and because Baman relied on the accumulated brand potential, it ran faster?   Zhang Tianyi: brand potential energy is one of them. The second is that many noodles didn’t make takeout at that time. From 2016 to 2017, many brands are discussing these issues, whether to make takeout, whether many categories are not suitable for takeout, whether noodles and flour will be lumpy.   We think we must make takeout. In order to match the form of takeout, some improvements should be made, including improving the formula of powder and the packaging of takeout. Ba man should be the first brand in Beijing to make soup powder separately and layered up and down, although it is common sense now. Also because it was done early, there was basically no other supply of flour takeout at that time, so we got up quickly.  《 New business intelligence NBT: Why did you insist on doing it at that time? Why didn’t you do it? May feel that it will damage the taste of its products and will not go to the store in the future?   Zhang Tianyi:   Or the basic logic, including today’s people are considering whether to retail catering. I think they are all the same kind of problems. The most essential idea of Ba man is that Ba man will be where consumers are.   Today, the entire catering market has a scale of 5 trillion yuan, with takeout of 700 billion yuan or 800 billion yuan, accounting for nearly 20%, which means that for every ten meals, consumers eat one or two meals through takeout. In essence, whether you do take out or not is that you have to choose whether to do the business of 10 meals or 8 meals. The market for semi-finished food, convenience food and prefabricated food is 500 billion, and one tenth is cut off. Do you want to make it?  《 NBT: so you must do it.   Zhang Tianyi: consumer demand has changed. You can do it if you don’t. what’s the price of not making takeout in the restaurant today? The turnover is 20% less than others.   Last year, many new brands, such as Li Ziqi, grew rapidly. Did the people who went to the store to eat flour and take out flour change to buy flour on tmall? Then we should consider whether the supply of brands will keep up with these changes as the scenes and channels become more and more fragmented?   The supply of all channels and all scenarios is reasonable. This is not a matter of whether enterprises are suitable or not, nor is it a matter of separating all channels to compare efficiency and economy. It is determined by consumer demand. You must do so.   For Ba man, we are essentially the solution for making rice noodles. It’s better to open many stores to deliver rice noodles, or to deliver rice noodles through meituan, hungry, tmall, applets and offline retail shelves. These are just channels for delivering rice noodles. What we need to do is solutions for matching products in various channels. Baman is a product company.
new business intelligence NBT: as for the proportion of takeout and retail goods, will ba man want to balance them within a certain range? What are the different roles of hall food, takeout and retail in the bullying system?   Zhang Tianyi: each proportion is not under our control, but oriented by consumer demand. We provide different solutions for what consumers need.   Is there any overlap in the takeout? There must be. However, hall food is a business with a radius of one kilometer, and takeout can draw a circle of five kilometers. From the second kilometer to the fifth kilometer, this is the increment brought by takeout. Convenience stores can cover a city and do business with a radius of 100 kilometers. The coverage of e-commerce is further.   In these business structures, the real barriers are self built channels, that is, our stores. Consumers always think that what they experience and see is the brand, so the role of stores has always been to occupy the consumer mind.   At the same time, the store is also the lowest cost channel to get customers. It is like a traffic node. As long as the products are good enough, consumers in the surrounding kilometer will spend repeatedly, and there are so many choices within the geographical range. They change to eat every day. When your users have a good platform, you can also know who these users are, analyze re purchases and give them a better consumer experience.   We believe that in store business is the driving factor of home business. The brand, the digital infrastructure of the store and the experience of the store will determine whether the takeout business and retail business are good or not. We will also classify takeout as retail, because it is delivered by e-commerce with the store as the front warehouse, and the delivery is a package.   There are also data to support this view. In cities covered by Baman stores, the dynamic sales in retail channels will be higher. You have a big door in the local shopping center. When consumers go to the store to spend, you tell them that Baman has a derivative retail product, and they will be more willing to experience it.   Therefore, hall food is always the core. Our offline stores are very key. Offline stores drive retail. Retail is the result of your offline stores, not the reason.  《 New business intelligence NBT: since hall food is so important, there are also opinions that all restaurants with Hall food should be directly operated rather than franchised.   Zhang Tianyi: direct marketing and franchise are issues of production relations and organizational relations.   Many chain brands are prone to uneconomical scale, because when the number of stores and employees reach a boundary point, the management expenses are greater than the new income. Whether a store is suitable for direct marketing depends on whether the elements of opening a store are standardized or non-standard. For example, the core of Haidilao is service, which is a non-standard element. We can only focus on control and direct marketing.   However, small catering and retail formats, such as convenience stores, McDonald’s and KFC all over the world, which are very large chains with a high degree of standardization, are often franchised. The essence of franchising is the utilization of social resources, and it is also the ultimate destination of their expansion.   We must do it. The problem is just how to do it well. Direct marketing is to manage yourself, while franchising is to manage others. Only by managing yourself can you manage others. Therefore, only brands with direct marketing ability can do a good job in franchising. I only opened one store today. The business is very hot. There is a sudden demand for cooperation from 1000 stores across the country. Can I join in? In fact, you can’t.   We concluded that at the beginning, we opened less than 5 stores to make the most money. You don’t need to do any standardization. When the products are good, the business is in a mess, but this is the first stage. Often there are 5 stores to more than 30 stores. If they are all direct stores and can’t patrol the stores by car, you have to make a standardized system and set up the middle stage and backstage. Standardization will take about three or five years. The speed of opening stores can be very fast. Maybe you can go to three or five hundred stores at once. This is chain.   In terms of law, three or five hundred stores will rush to thousands and thousands of stores. In this fourth stage, it depends on your production relations. What kind of franchise, such as Wallace’s partnership system or Jue Wei’s large distribution system, are different forms of franchise; Is the digital foundation good enough to break through higher efficiency.  《 New business intelligence NBT: so what are the expansion plans for Direct stores and Chuangke stores? Especially the maker plan, if the pace is too fast, will it dilute the brand potential energy?   Zhang Tianyi: our orientation for Direct stores is training base and maker training store.   When entering a new market, such as Hangzhou, the first thing to open is a maker training store. We make standards, processes and test new products here. After market verification, we can achieve 100% success rate, and then output them to Chuang hotel.   In the future, maker training stores will not be the mainstream of Ba man, but some will be retained. What is the final proportion? The model of 711 is very good. There are 20000 stores, 500 Direct stores and 19500 franchises in Japan.   Of course, we should also balance the speed and quality of franchising. According to our network planning, we will first focus on the markets of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, East China and South China. This circle is currently within our ability range, and those out of the circle will not touch it. In this competency circle, first roughly pull out the optional points, find a reasonable quantity range, and then spread them step by step according to my manpower reserve, training and standardization.
reconstituted air outlet
new business intelligence NBT: Baman’s last financing was in April 2018, after a lapse of more than two years. In January and June this year, he quickly won two rounds of financing, which coincided with this round of financing boom in the catering industry. Do you benefit from this?   Zhang Tianyi: we compare Buddhism. Unlike the Internet, the chain business needs to be financed round by round, and there is not much money to spend, and the front-end cash flow and profit are very good every year.   The key to refinancing this year is that we have reached a certain scale and hope to do some construction in the supply chain. Industry financing is indeed hot.  《 New business intelligence NBT: this year, many catering projects are particularly powerful, which is much more ferocious than your financing situation in that year.   Zhang Tianyi: I think it’s also a good thing. It shows that the whole track is getting very hot. When we first started our business in 2014, the industry was also very hot. After the rapid changes in the industry in recent years, this year has reached a climax.  《 New business intelligence NBT: from the perspective of practitioners, why this year?   Zhang Tianyi: we are a special case. Established in 2014, Qili strangely came to open a shop. I didn’t study this industry. At that time, many enterprises began to build central kitchens. In the past two years, we have gradually seen the emergence of enterprises like Shuhai and the improvement of infrastructure.   Including at that time point, there was still a fierce debate in the industry about whether to order on wechat, because the wireless network in the store could not be solved at that time, and many people thought it was anti human. By now, mobile payment and wireless ordering have become standard.   Consumers are also changing. I was born in 1990 and graduated with a master’s degree in 2014. In the past few years, the post-90s have continued to move towards society and become the mainstream consumer.   In terms of capitalization, Haidilao was listed in 2018, opening the ceiling of the whole industry. In the past, it was thought that a catering enterprise would be listed for billions or 10 billion. As soon as Haidilao came up, the market value broke 100 billion, up to 450 billion. Later, excellent companies like Taier also appeared one after another.   Spring River warm duck prophet. There are good companies and good cases, and more and more people travel to this industry. Talent, capital, consumers, supply chain, digital infrastructure, many elements are changing. I think these elements have experienced a quantitative change period of four or five years and reached the qualitative change period of this year, showing a very lively state.  《 New business intelligence NBT: with the improvement of infrastructure and supporting facilities, the catering chain rate will increase. How high do you think the chain rate of rice noodles can be?   Zhang Tianyi: here are some data. The chain rate of China’s catering industry is 10%, and that of the United States is about 40% and 50%, with a wide gap.   In the whole industry, the category scale of rice noodles is 50 billion, 400000 husband and wife stores and about 3000 or 4000 brand stores, with a branding rate of only 1%. In other words, the category of rice noodles is very huge, but there is no brand.   Milk tea shops are so popular that there are 500000 offline stores. Lanzhou Ramen is also very popular recently, with only 40000 stores offline. Moreover, the growth rate of rice noodles is very fast. In 2016, there were more than 200000 stores in China, which has now doubled. When we started our business, there was basically no rice noodle brand in the shopping center, and there were no more than five Hunan rice noodle stores in Beijing. Now you search the comments. There are hundreds and a thousand. The same is true for takeout. Meituan data says that powder is the fastest growing.   So rice noodles is a super category.   For many years, the development of the industry has always been better than that of the powder industry, because in the first wave of reform and opening up, all China’s industrial bases were transmitted from other countries or regions. The noodle related industries in Taiwan and Japan are very mature. Like Master Kang, they spread from advanced areas to relatively backward areas, so the noodle category took the lead in development.   However, on the basis of consumption, the flour market in southern China is as large. When the surface has been well developed, the industrial and environmental basis of the surface began to slowly penetrate into the powder. In fact, there is such a technology transfer path. Personal summary, no industry analysis.




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