China Food

Why is Lu Zhengyao’s “fun noodles” worth 1 billion?

noodles + applet + Lu Zhengyao, how do you calculate this account?

Text: Jin Yuyu; Editor: Wei Jia   

Source: kaiboluocaijing (ID: kaiboluocaijing)


Ruixing coffee is a bit about to turn over, but Lu Zhengyao, 52, is still looking around for money.

According to media reports, Lu Zhengyao’s catering project “fun noodles” is seeking financing of 100 million yuan. According to informed sources, this round of financing is valued at 1 billion yuan.


The valuation of quxiaomian is not conservative, but the store opening plan is not crazy as expected. According to the statistics of pineapple finance, as of October 9, there are 25 formal and trial stores of quxiaomian, distributed in 15 cities. Previously, several media reports said that Lu Zhengyao repeatedly mentioned that the target of expanding the first batch of quxiaomian stores will be 106. That is to say, two months have passed since August 8 The “KPI” has just completed a quarter, and 81 have not yet opened.


Based on the valuation of 1 billion yuan, the single store of quxiaomian is valued at 40 million. Taking the medium and high-end line of Hefu Laomian as a reference, its 400 Direct stores are valued at 6 billion and the single store is valued at 15 million. Why is the valuation of one quxiaomian higher than that of the two Hefu laomians? With this question, pineapple finance conducted a field visit to three quxiaomians in Beijing and Shanghai.


In fact, quxiaomian has repeatedly heard financing rumors, but has never disclosed the actual progress. Combined with the news that “Lu Zhengyao requires every store to be profitable” exposed by quxiaomian employees, boss Lu, who claims that “he has never worried about money”, may really encounter a lot of resistance this time.


More than one person in the industry said that after learning that Lu Zhengyao started his business again, many investors rated his new project at two levels, either very optimistic or “definitely won’t vote for him”. Is Lu Zhengyao, who was kicked out by Ruixing, an increase or a decrease in interest? Investors’ evaluation of his “capital operation ability” How high is the trust? This paper tries to find the answer.


Fun noodles:
The store manager said he couldn’t see the running water
At present, quxiaomian has opened in 15 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Wuhan. According to previous media reports, the second batch of quxiaomian city expansion plans will be opened on August 18, including Changsha, Nanchang and other cities, and it is expected to open 500. However, as of October 9, pineapple finance has opened 25 formal and trial stores according to the statistics of quxiaomian program. In addition, according to the public point The review shows that there are still a large number of stores to be opened in various cities.
At the end of September, kaipineapple finance visited three stores of quxiaomian in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively located in Beijing fenghuanghui shopping center, the store on the B1 floor of galaxy sohob1 and the 800 partner store in Pudong, Shanghai.
One of the interesting noodle shops in Beijing is next to Starbucks
Open pineapple
The visual design of a full set of Chinese Red elements is the biggest sensory stimulation for consumers in quxiaomian stores. From the door to tables and chairs to employees’ work clothes, they are neat and uniform red, representing China and Chongqing.
Compared with chain upstarts such as Chen Xianggui ramen and Hefu Laomian, the service of quxiaomian is not strong. For the first two brands, as soon as customers arrive, the waiter will shout “welcome”, which is full of fireworks and excitement. When pineapple finance entered the quxiaomian store, there was no staff service, only a faint “scan code and order” Of course, we don’t rule out that fun noodles want to enhance the efficiency of the Internet. Therefore, like Ruixing, the ordering method only supports code scanning and ordering. According to the applet, there are 24 kinds of SKUs, mainly all kinds of noodles, with a series of marinated flavor, ice powder, cold dishes and so on.
Interior view of fun noodle shop
Open pineapple
Since Lu Zhengyao released the wind of starting a business as a noodle restaurant, some analysts predicted that he might hit the price of noodles to $5 a bowl or even $2 a bowl, so as to quickly seize the market.
Interesting noodles disappointed them. First of all, the discount period was very short. After a 3.8% discount, a bowl of noodles for less than 10 yuan only appeared during the trial operation of the store. According to the clerk of the store in Beijing, at present, the staple food is not discounted, and the bittern flavor is occasionally discounted; second, the pricing strategies of different cities are different, such as the hot Bawang saozi noodles, which sells for 18 yuan in Chengdu, 20 yuan in Xi’an and 20 yuan in Beijing The price is 24 yuan, which is higher than that of the same type of local products.
Kaipineapple finance and economics also noted that within two months, the price of Bawang Sao Zi noodles has decreased by 2-4 yuan in many cities, including 22 yuan in two stores in Beijing from 24 yuan at the beginning of opening; the price of variable topping noodles has reached 34 yuan per bowl, which is fast catching up with Hefu Laomian (the customer unit price is about 45 yuan) However, judging from the current site selection of quxiaomian, it is mostly located on the B1 floor of office buildings or food squares, which means that the target is the stall with lower passenger unit price.
In the process of exploring the store, song Xiao, the manager of one of the interesting noodle stores, revealed to pineapple finance that the customer unit price of his store was about 25 yuan, but there were many noodle shops of the same type on the same floor. A bowl of noodles sold for about 15 yuan, and the interesting noodle was not competitive in price. When pineapple finance came to the store at 8 p.m. on a working day, there were only two customers, far less than the same one Mall, other fast food restaurants on the same floor.
At almost the same time, another interesting noodle shop in the same city had a slightly better passenger flow. There were more than ten guests in the shop. Many packages and pasta on the applet showed that they were sold out. According to the clerk, the store has just opened. When there was a discount in the early stage, the hall food needed to queue up at lunchtime. Now there is no discount, and the passenger flow has not been greatly affected.
The advantage of fun noodles is that the process is standardized and the meal is fast. Open pineapple finance and economics to place orders three times. From ordering to meal, the fastest is 5 minutes and the slowest is about 12 minutes. This speed is easy to be accepted by business office people. According to song Xiao’s observation, the same is true. Diners are basically business people who work nearby. If they catch up with weekends and holidays, they have few guests.
Song Xiao once worked as a store manager of a well-known chain fast food brand for many years. For him, the biggest difference now is, “as a store manager, I can’t see running water”, he added, “you also know that the boss is Lu Zhengyao, and I don’t know the real running water.”
Based on his experience, he estimated that the daily order volume of his store was about 90 orders. “Many customers report that the overall taste is average, and it is unlikely to re purchase.” Song Xiao revealed that quxiaomian will soon launch a series of new products, looking forward to higher acceptance in the market.
“Combining the single quantity with the customer unit price, the one-day floor efficiency is about 110 yuan (the store is calculated according to 20 square meters), and the monthly floor efficiency is 3300 yuan / square meter.” according to the financial analysis of pineapple, the founder of a fast food brand, Xu Liang, the daily rent of the store is 30-35 yuan per square meter, accounting for 1 / 3 of the floor efficiency. For the trial store, it is still within the healthy range, deducting labor A series of costs such as supply chain can make a slight profit.
On the whole, his experience evaluation of fun noodles is that gimmick elements are greater than products and services, but the latter two are the two most important elements in the catering industry, and fun noodles are not in place. Without services, consumers will feel “not respected enough”.
Noodles + applet,
Why is fun noodles worth 1 billion?
The store opening plan of fun noodles is not crazy as expected, but the valuation is not conservative. According to the tech planet report, “fun noodles” is seeking a round of financing. According to sources, the current round of valuation of fun noodles is 1 billion yuan.
In fact, this figure is not eye-catching in the cutting-edge noodle shop track. In April this year, beef Ramen brands majiyong and Chen Xianggui successfully completed financing at a price of 1 billion. In March this year, the valuation of Xiaomian brand reached 1 billion when it met Xiaomian. Three months later, the valuation nearly tripled to 3 billion. The valuation of Hefu Laomian, the leader, has reached 6 billion. According to Tianyan survey, Xiaomian has not disclosed the financing process information so far.
When each store obtained the above valuation, the number of stores of Ma Jiyong, Chen Xianggui, meeting Xiaomian and Hefu Laomian were 15, 22, 150 and 400 respectively. In order of single store valuation, Ma Jiyong > Chen Xianggui > interesting Xiaomian > meeting Xiaomian > Hefu Laomian. From this point of view, the valuation of interesting facets is not low.
Why can the valuation of an interesting noodle be higher than that of two Hefu noodles?
In fact, capital loves a bowl of noodles and can’t just watch the number of stores. Zhuang Shuai, an expert in the retail e-commerce industry and founder of Bailian consulting, analyzed pineapple finance. The noodle shop track depends on two dimensions: market competition stage and sales growth. The latter includes offline stores and online takeout.
In terms of market, investors evaluate whether interest facets may become the head of the industry.
Noodle shop is a special existence in China. It’s no exaggeration to say that when you go to the north, there is only one noodle shop in a few steps in some provinces. According to Zhuang Shuai’s analysis, at present, the market of cutting-edge noodle restaurants is scattered and there is no “Starbucks” in the chain noodle restaurant industry, while noodles have been highly standardized and suitable for running scale. “It’s easy to talk about valuation at this stage, even if your sales are not high.”
From the perspective of market segments, the facet category selected by fun facet is indeed blank. The first echelon of Lanzhou beef noodles includes Ma Jiyong and Chen Xianggui. The first place of new Chinese noodle soup is Hefu Laomian. Shaanxi pasta is represented by jiumaojiu. In the minds of consumers, the first brand of Chongqing Xiaomian is still blank. On the whole, each family plays the consumption upgrading of its category. Of course, the market potential of Xiaomian is also large, but in Xu Liang’s view, it still needs more data to support how big the consumer market of Xiaomian in Chongqing can accept the taste nationwide.
As for the takeout part of sales, song Xiao revealed that the takeout orders in his store are very few and can be ignored, “because consumers know that takeout noodles are easy to become lumps”. For this, in fact, there are already solutions in the industry. Cai Dasen, general manager of CAI Hanwen hot and dry noodles, told pineapple finance that Cai Hanwen hot and dry noodles have broken through the problem of lump and taste of noodles.
However, Zhuang Shuai is more optimistic about the third market that generates sales – the fast food market. As long as the offline restaurant starts its brand, it can launch instant noodles products similar to ramen and snacks made by Ruixing on the basis of mature supply chain system, and enter the sales track of bagged food. It is worth noting that Hefu Laomian has entered the third market, and its subsidiary brand “Xiaomian Xiaojiu” has launched wine drinks such as milk wine, bubble wine and beer.
Fast food track is also a scattered market, no head enterprise, and can make up for some shortcomings of noodle restaurants and takeout. It has a wider radiation range and standardization is easier to be accepted. According to Zhuang Shuai’s analysis, there is a check and balance relationship between the taste and standardization of chain noodle restaurants. The difficulty is that if they are standardized, customers in some regions must feel that “local noodle restaurants are still delicious”. If they are not standardized, consumers will feel that “they don’t look like a brand”.
Take Xiaomian in Beijing and Shanghai as an example. Their star rating in public comments is about 3.5 and 3.6, with 9 and 57 less comments. “This bowl of noodles is for eating. It is the same standardized fast food as KFC and McDonald’s. It tastes ordinary and is difficult to arouse the interest of diners.” Song Xiao analyzed.
Score of two interesting noodles in Beijing
Source / public comments
Although coffee and noodles are imported, they are very different. Xu Liang mentioned that Chinese people have limited comments on coffee, and it is useful to find spokesmen and fight price war. However, people in many parts of China are pasta experts and have taste preferences that are difficult to change, such as hard or soft, flat or strip, heavy alkali taste, dry or soup, and what to choose for whistle, Now this way of fun noodles can’t meet people’s personalized needs for noodles, so the evaluation will not be too high.
There is no such problem with instant food. For the simplest example, Xi’an people who like noodles don’t deliberately evaluate whether bottled instant noodles are delicious.
If we only look at the retail noodle shop, the area of a noodle shop is limited, the flow of people and consumption are very stable, and the valuation of 1 billion is very outrageous. However, from the three markets where a bowl of noodles can cut off the catering market, online takeout market and bagged food market, “re comprehensively evaluate the relationship between sales growth”, Zhuang Shuai believes, It is not difficult to understand that this valuation can be achieved.
Lu Zhengyao, or bonus item?
In fact, there have been repeated rumors of financing, but the real progress has not been disclosed. Combined with the news that “Lu Zhengyao requires every store to be profitable” exposed by the employees of quxiaomian, the capital pressure of quxiaomian may not be small. Some voices believe that the root cause of the financing difficulty is Lu Zhengyao himself.
Although Lu Zhengyao did not appear in the ranks of shareholders from the perspective of public information, interest facets are inextricably linked with Lu Zhengyao. On September 26, there was an industrial and commercial change in tongue tip technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., an affiliated company of quxiaomian. Wang Hailong withdrew from the ranks of legal representative, shareholders and key personnel, Zhang Ying withdrew from shareholders, Jiang Hongjun withdrew from key personnel, the legal representative of the company was changed to Wang Peiqiang, and Wang Peiqiang was also the executive director and manager of the company. Wang Peiqiang is one of the directors of Shenzhou Youche Co., Ltd. Shenzhou Youche is an important part of Lu Zhengyao’s capital territory.
Will Lu Zhengyao’s “stain” on Ruixing affect the financing of fun facets?
For this problem, more than one person in the industry said that after learning that Lu Zhengyao started a business again, many investors rated his new project at two levels. Chen Xixi, an investor in the consumer field, concluded that he was either in business and was very optimistic about him, or “definitely won’t vote for him”.
Investors who “definitely won’t invest” either don’t recognize his disgraceful past, or from the perspective of risk, they are worried that the team will “rush to the horse”, and that Lu Zhengyao’s financial management ability and radical play will lead to many problems for the enterprise.
However, he mentioned that the consensus of these two views is that Lu Zhengyao did not choose to hibernate, which shows that he is confident to fight a turnaround, and can make Shenzhou car rental, Shenzhou Youche and Ruixing coffee financing and listing successively, which has proved his ability to operate the offline market and rapid expansion, as well as his marketing ability.
Cai Dasen also believes that the advantage of fun noodles is that Lu Zhengyao has the management advantage of 10000 small stores. Although the stores are small, playing the traffic war will have more advantages than old stores.
Although the playing methods of direct shop shop and extension of the city are not new in the cutting-edge noodle restaurant track, except Hefu Laomian, other brands are the same, and fun Xiaomian has lost its first mover advantage, Chen Xixi said, “no one has such management experience and strategic vision in the same track”. Those who recognize the fun facets think that Lu Zhengyao is the biggest advantage. For example, they expect that when the stores open to 100, there will be some new ways to play. “Even if he doesn’t have a new way to play, it’s also very useful to play the original way of Ruixing coffee fission.”
Bao Yuezhong, a new retail expert, summarized Ruixing’s playing method as: starting from a certain track, establishing a network, capturing users through the network, gradually expanding the commodity pool with the help of omni-channel means, and then increasing the user value through the commodity pool. Therefore, Ruixing can step out of coffee and enter the field of snacks and drinks, even mineral water, which proves that the business model is established.
“Lu Zhengyao certainly wants to further replicate this business model.” Bao Yuezhong said that from this point of view, what Qu Xiaomian does is not just a bowl of noodles, but noodles are just a means to get customers. If Lu Zhengyao can replicate the Ruixing model that was not made to the noodle restaurant, the valuation of 1 billion is reasonable.
Previously, some media reported that Lu Zhengyao’s team should start with the “fun noodle” brand, absorb other snack brands to make a food city, and finally present it in the form of online app. Many industry insiders believe that this is not impossible, which is almost a replica of Ruixing model. “Quxiaomian may even step into the same river as Ruixing coffee,” said an industry insider.
*At the request of the interviewee, song Xiao, Xu Liang and Chen Tuixi were pseudonyms.
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