China Food

5 yuan cooking bag, beat 10 million Chinese chefs


Chinese food chains are expanding wildly, but chefs are losing their jobs.

Mapo Tofu, double cooked pork, diced chicken with chili, fried bacon with cauliflower, fried kidney
Every seemingly fresh fried dish in the takeout box may be heated by a cooking bag a year ago.
70% of takeout is a $5 food bag
If you go to Yoshino’s house for dinner and order a table stewed rice, you can see the following picture at the meal taking port:
The back kitchen takes out the marinated meat bag without hesitation, heats it for two minutes, skillfully tears open the package and pours it into the prepared rice.
Your lunch will be on the table in two minutes.
I thought I was eating fresh fried vegetables. In fact, it was a cooking bag made a few days or even months ago. It was just taken out and put on a plate at the moment of placing an order.
That’s the case with Hall food, not to mention takeout.
According to media statistics, 70% of takeout comes from 5 yuan cooking bags.
Cooking bags, in short, are dishes made in batches by means of industrialization. Under low temperature freezing, the shelf life of these cooking bags can reach one year. Just thaw and heat them when eating.
The home-made dishes we usually eat have long been “everything can be cooked”. A bag of 200g Kung Pao diced chicken and fish flavored shredded meat costs only 3-5 yuan, and the expensive tomato beef brisket costs only 10 yuan.
This means that a takeaway meal with a unit price of 20 yuan can make a net profit of about 5 yuan after deducting various costs.
The takeout market is expanding, and the competition among businesses is becoming more and more fierce. It takes at least 10 minutes to cook a meal in a small restaurant that is now fried and sold. Compared with the cooking bag that can be served in 2 minutes, it has no speed advantage. If the meal is slow, it can’t make money. Finally, “bad money drives good money”, they have closed down or sold cooking bags.
Nowadays, most takeout kitchens don’t have stoves at all. They are all cooking bags and heated directly by microwave. Whether it’s fried chicken hamburger or rice covered with rice, it’s the same flavor of cooking bag.
According to the prediction of insiders, this trend will continue to rise. In the future, 90% of takeout will be food bags.
▲ the price of 10 bags of cooking bags on an e-commerce platform is only about 40 yuan
Businesses do not need to invite cooks, they can eat fast, riders can deliver fast, and people can cook fast. Everyone is happy. The only possible loss is their own stomach.
The food bag can be eaten. The taste is really not delicious.
Therefore, smart businessmen introduced a new form – prefabricated dishes on the basis of cooking bags.
Compared with the finished food package, prefabricated dishes can be simply fried by cutting and matching the ingredients, sub packaging or making semi-finished products.
In order to extend the shelf life and reduce the cost, low-cost cooking bags need to add preservatives or use more bad ingredients; The prefabricated dishes with a unit price of about 10-30 yuan are relatively healthier, and the shelf life is only 3-7 days, which is slightly better in appearance and taste.
Chain restaurants with a per capita of 100 yuan in shopping malls are big customers of prefabricated dishes. Compared with cutting and frying, prefabricated dishes can increase their serving speed and sales by more than 10 times.
This is also the confidence that many stores promise to “get all the dishes within half an hour”.
The urban migrant workers on the assembly line use their own stomach to provide a billion level enterprise. In September this year, Qianwei central kitchen, the “first share in the catering supply chain”, landed in a shares, and the share price soared by 40% on the opening day. The main business of this enterprise is to provide quick-frozen products and prefabricated dishes to catering enterprises. Among its customers, there are many brands such as KFC, pizza hut, Haidilao, Xiabu, Xiabu and Xiabu.
Takeout is to eat food bags, which is an open secret of the industry. But the moment I knew that I was eating “old dishes” at once, my heart would still respond——
“What nutrition does eating these have?”
Of course, “injured” are not only diners, but also Chinese chefs who are good at frying.
Capital management
“Cooking bags and hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, destroyed the Chinese chef!”
Retired Cantonese chef Lao Wang hesitated for a long time and forwarded this article in his circle of friends. So far, he still remembers how to choose the first-class pig tripe, add various ingredients of red dates and medlar, and cook it slowly over low heat for 2 hours to provide guests with a cup of delicious pig tripe chicken.
“Now the pork tripe chicken material bag is only a dozen yuan. It still sells hundreds of yuan when it is hot on the table. Who is willing to spend time to cook slowly?”
The eight major Chinese cuisines are broad and profound, but if a dish takes too much time, it is a “heinous crime” in the eyes of capital.
The key to the expansion of the catering industry lies in high standardization. Only when the material selection and seasoning of a dish are quantified can it be mass produced.
If you rely on chefs, this is obviously uncontrollable. Stir fry a dish now. The process is complex. It takes a lot of effort to adjust the juice. There are small differences in details and the taste is very different.
Moreover, the food has no fixed taste, and the palatability is rare. The tip of the diner’s tongue is different. It is the same as the double cooked meat. Some people like spicy and salty, some are spicy, some eat lean meat, and some love fat and thin.
For traditional Chinese restaurants, if you change the cook, more than half of the guests may be lost.
In the age when there was no cooking bag, a chef with ten years of cooking experience could earn as much as 10000 yuan a month, and as much as 20000 or 30000 yuan in first tier cities, which was a high cost for restaurants.
In order to improve efficiency and simplify the process, Chinese restaurants began to “chop” traditional fried vegetables.
Speaking of “jiumaojiu”, you may not know, but the sign of “Taier pickled fish” can be seen in almost every mall.
Scorched by the flames, make complaints about 99 Fen. The beginning of the year was just an ordinary Chinese brand. There were over 100 dishes, and the mass dishes were very time-consuming. The founder Guan Yihong Tucao did 10 years of food service before expanding 5 stores. Even if the dishes are reduced to 70 or 80 later, it is still complex and time-consuming.
In 2015, Guan Yihong decided to abandon all fried vegetables and leave only one single product, that is, the later star product – “Taier pickled fish”.
Subtraction makes Taier the brand with the least number of products in Chinese food chain stores, but greatly improves the operation efficiency and standardization of the restaurant.
The success of “Tai Er” led the whole Jiumao Jiuhua to turn around. According to the financial report, by the end of 2020, the number of Taier restaurants had reached 233, with a revenue of 1.962 billion, a year-on-year increase of 53.6%. It is expected to maintain the number of 100-120 stores in 2021.
Diners will only remember Taier’s pickled cabbage fish, and will no longer remember the 99 cents of more than 100 dishes.
Taier’s success is not an example. Huang Jihuang, who only makes stewing pots, and outside the riverside city, which only makes roast fish, are all examples of the counter attack after abandoning cooking.
As early as more than 20 years ago, Chinese food began to try to get rid of chefs.
In 1997, the catering brand zhenkung Fu developed a computer-controlled steam cabinet. According to the preset process, the meal can be served in 80 seconds. There is no frying and cooking, and all dishes are steamed.
In the later development, the concept of central kitchen rose, and a large number of prefabricated dishes with unified taste were produced on the assembly line, which were sent to the dining table all over the world through the cold chain.
The cooking robot has also been developed. It takes only 2 minutes to fry a small Hunan fried meat. Most importantly, the robot will not be tired.
The tastes of the dishes are exactly the same, and the cooking differences of Chinese food are completely erased.
This is the inevitable result of the expansion of the catering industry. According to the data disclosed by New Oriental culinary school in 2019, the number of Chinese chefs has exceeded 10 million. The back chef no longer needs a chef. When the chef can only get the same salary as the cook, this road becomes more and more difficult.
This is the inevitable result of the expansion of the catering industry. According to the data disclosed by New Oriental culinary school in 2019, the number of Chinese chefs has exceeded 10 million. When the back kitchen no longer needs the chef, and when the chef can only get the same salary as the cook, their road will only become more and more difficult.
Once “marry the chef of New Oriental!”, Now it is not fragrant. According to its 2020 financial report, the cooking business of New Oriental has declined sharply, and the number of people participating in chef training has decreased by 11.5% year-on-year.
In 2018, an open letter of collective job hopping from 30 chefs appeared on the Internet. These chefs have worked for an average of 12 years. They can do palace private dishes, Hangzhou cuisine and Guangdong cuisine, but now they can’t find a job.
The more experienced chefs are, the harder it is to find a job. Xiao Yang, one of them, said:
“Because the overall trend of the catering industry is based on the FMCG chain model. For example, grandma’s home and green tea are semi-finished products. They don’t need skills. They can do it by sending a small worker.”
Some Kwai chefs are reluctant to compromise, so they have to leave their kitchen, change their bags, or tiktok.
hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">Hot pot pasta or become the biggest winner
Cai Lan, a gourmet, was once asked, “what would you like if a dish disappeared from the world?”
Cai Lan made a firm decision: “hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, this is the least level of cuisine.”
All kinds of semi-finished vegetables and meat are poured into a pot. Diners rinse them and dip them in seasoning. No matter what dishes taste like.
This sentence offended many people, but he felt it. “Young people only know to eat hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot. Sichuan food handed down by their ancestors is being forgotten.”
The “simple and rough” eating method of hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot means that as long as we find the right bottom material manufacturer, we can expand one after another. If you open more stores, you can copy profits faster.
But it is too difficult to open a Sichuan restaurant at the same cost and speed. Cultivating a Sichuan cuisine master can be as short as 3 years and as long as 10 years. Looking for a good master with the right price is more like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Therefore, hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot has become the most popular track for capital.
Haidilao, a big Mac, has been born on this track. It is said that Banu hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, which focuses on hairy belly, has completed a financing of 500 million yuan. Elder martial brother Zhou, a hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot brand specializing in waist film, also completed a round of financing of 100 million yuan in August this year.
According to relevant media statistics, about 3.5 billion people have been financing hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot in the past six months. Open the public comments, and nine out of ten are all kinds of hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot.
In 2020, the revenue of hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot industry will reach 1170 billion, accounting for 30% of the whole catering industry.
With the “fuel” of capital and diners, the hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot Jianghu is becoming bigger and bigger, and the traditional Sichuan cuisine is facing the fate of marginalization.
Pasta is also the object of competition. Unlike cooking, pasta is simple to make. It only needs a few kneading masters to open, which is also conducive to rapid expansion.
Ramen, small noodles, fished noodles and mixed noodles have become capital pastries. In the first half of this year alone, there were 12 pasta tracks, with a total financing of more than 1 billion.
The e-round financing of the new online celebrity and fulaomian reached 800 million, breaking the highest financing record in the catering industry. Wuye noodles received 300 million yuan of round a financing, which is the largest round a financing for the catering industry in the market. The valuation of small face has also been as high as 3 billion.
The value of Lanzhou beef noodles doubled, Chen Xianggui valued Lanzhou beef noodles at 1 billion, and Ma Jiyong and Zhang Lala Lanzhou beef noodles were also robbed by capital.
In contrast, the traditional fried Chinese food is almost silent.
Lost Chinese cuisine
In the first five minutes of the movie men and women, chef Lao Zhu kills fish, cuts meat and blows ducks at one go.
In particular, the chicken wrapped with wings: the loose elderly care hen is selected to remove the back. The shark fin is first simmered and rotten with abalone, ham and scallops, and then stuffed into the chicken belly. The gap is sewn with fine kelp silk as a thread to avoid leaking the soup and reducing the taste. Then the oily chicken soup is steamed gently for about an hour, which is fragrant, fat but not greasy.
To a certain extent, the charm of Chinese food lies in the slow work and meticulous work, and the cumbersome process can ensure the taste.
The charm of Chinese food lies not in standardization, but in the elusive of “a little salt” and “a little soy sauce”, the mysterious heat of “big fire frying” and “small fire slow stewing”, and the myriad changes of “a thousand chefs can fry a thousand different plates of fish flavored shredded meat”.
Nowadays, not to mention the chicken wrapped in wings, even a plate of authentic double cooked meat will inevitably face the loss of skills.
Once upon a time, the horses and cars were slow, and they were willing to order two dishes in the restaurant during the new year’s festival. The kitchen pots and spoons collided, and there were bursts of delicious dishes, which was also part of the sense of the whole eating ceremony. Now I have money in my pocket and pursue efficiency. I can’t afford to wait for a cooked meal.
At present, the chain rate of Chinese food is only 10%, while the average level of global food chain is 27%. If China wants to reach the global average level, there is still three times the growth space.
With the continuous expansion of chain scale, it can be predicted that the road of traditional Chinese chef will only be more difficult.
Senior chefs may be able to follow the path of tailors: the clothes made by front street edge tailors are cheap and easy to wear. With the industrialization of clothing, tailor-made clothes have become “private customization”, and the price is ridiculously expensive.
When fried dishes are completely replaced by cooking bags, I’m afraid I can only invite “private kitchen” to become the enjoyment of the rich if I want to eat delicious fried dishes in the future.
At the end of 2020, Xibei opened a Jia Guoqiang Kung Fu Restaurant. This restaurant has no kitchen, let alone cooks. Semi-finished products of eight major cuisines are placed in the refrigerator. After diners order, the waiter heats them with these semi-finished tin cartons. There is no plate, and the per capita consumption is more than 100 yuan.
Although Xibei explained that these semi-finished products have been carefully developed and the materials and processes are very expensive, they still received a lot of scolding from the masses.
It can be seen that the complex in the bones of the Chinese people: if you really want to have a serious meal, you still need a decent Chinese meal.
Nowadays, more and more urban workers who are tired of cooking bags want to return to the hot and fresh taste. This also gives some opportunities for traditional Chinese cooking. For example, douyue in Shanghai focuses on “frying in a small pot” instead of cooking bags. At present, it has more than 30 stores in Shanghai, with a revenue of about 120 million yuan in 2019.
However, compared with the huge hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot and prefabricated vegetable market, it is still small.
Retired chef Lao Wang has not eaten in the restaurant of the mall for a long time. In his eyes, “those restaurants have the same taste.” Now he uses his retirement time to go to various small towns and villages, specially find fly restaurants to taste fresh, and record them one by one. Many food documentary directors come to him for advice when they are looking for a shooting object.
This is his persistence: “the freshest Chinese flavor can’t be eliminated like this.”
reference material:
[1] Chinese food enters the era of large enterprises, and 90.9 billion yuan plays a new model of success
[2] “China’s first cooking method, abandoned by capital” New Weekly
[3] How did a bowl of Lanzhou Ramen suddenly become a capital “pastry” New catering insight
Source: Huashang Taolue (ID: hstl8888), reprint authorized.
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