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In the past two years, takeout has not only become the best choice for migrant workers to solve their daily diet, but also fattened some Chinese fast food enterprises. Taking advantage of this super outlet, the “three giants of Chinese fast food” are preparing to rush to the market.
On November 12, 1987, KFC’s first restaurant in China settled at No. 1, Zhengyang market, Qianmen West Street, Beijing.
The next day, the people’s daily sent a small message in a corner in the form of a vertical page, called “KFC home chicken fast food restaurant opened in Beijing”. At that time, many people lined up with their families to eat a piece of American fried chicken. The queue circled around for an hour before moving to the counter. Someone even recalled, “I took the box of French fries with me.”
This popular event also attracted McDonald’s to enter China three years later. They not only brought standardized foreign fast food, but also introduced the chain operation model to China. Chinese fast-food chains such as red sorghum, true Kung Fu and rural base also stepped on the historical stage after this.
According to iResearch consulting report, the scale of Chinese fast food industry reached 774.4 billion yuan in 2021, accounting for 70% of the fast food market.
However, at present, there are four catering enterprises in A-share market, including Xi’an Catering, Quanjude, Tongqing building and Guangzhou Restaurant. Hong Kong stocks include Haidilao, yum China and Ajisen (China), among which there is no Chinese fast food.
The epidemic in the past two years has given Chinese fast food enterprises hope. Data show that China’s online takeout revenue grew rapidly in 2020 and 2021, with a total turnover of 1.66 trillion yuan, more than the sum of five years from 2015 to 2019. Due to the reduction of hall food, takeout has become the only choice for migrant workers to meet their daily dietary needs, which has also greatly increased the revenue and profits of some chain Chinese fast food enterprises. Catching up with this super “tuyere”, many Chinese fast food enterprises are preparing to rush to the market this year. On July 5, after the rural chicken and rural base, the old uncle, who is also the “three giants of Chinese fast food” and entrenched in the Jiangsu and Zhejiang Hubao postal area, also submitted the prospectus.
Who can take the lead in listing? Before this suspense is revealed, what is more thought-provoking is why more than 3 million catering enterprises in China failed to run out of a “Chinese McDonald’s”?
McDonald’s Chinese apprentices
Over the years, there are many Chinese fast-food enterprises, from apprentices of KFC McDonald’s to challenging it.
In 2005, Qiao Ying, the founder of the restaurant chain “Red Sorghum”, published his autobiography “I challenged McDonald’s” in prison. He spent eight months in prison writing this, which he called “ten reflections”.
From the launch of the first “Red Sorghum” specializing in Henan stewed noodles in 1995 to its entry into Beijing and its challenge to McDonald’s, Qiao Ying, who claims to be the king of China’s fast-food chain, has only been in full swing for seven years. In June, 2002, Qiao Ying was sentenced to prison for illegal fund-raising.
It can be said that the catering bosses at that time all had an ambition to defeat KFC and McDonald’s, as did zhenkungfu in Guangzhou, rural foundation in Chongqing, and even my old uncle.
“No professional chef, no diesel, gas, no open fire smoke, no matter at any time, customers can eat the same taste of food.” In 2000, the old uncle, who was born in Huzhou, the hometown of light textile in Zhejiang Province, found another way to challenge foreign fast food such as KFC and McDonald’s with this standardized Chinese fast food model from the beginning.
At that time, senior executives of the old uncle company spent all day in McDonald’s and KFC, learning from all aspects of processes and products. Even at each cashier, there was the same screen as McDonald’s for customers to view dishes and prices.
“The most important thing is the transparent kitchen of McDonald’s. There is no open fire and no oil smoke. This is the root of standardization.” In Yang Guomin’s eyes, Chinese food can be dissected. For example, when is the flavor of stir frying, and at what temperature does the steamed egg solidify, can be extracted from the chef’s experience.
Nowadays, farmers’ chickens and old uncles have learned McDonald’s “standardization” in the form of central kitchen or prefabricated dishes. But the reproducibility of the old uncle after standardization is not optimistic. Today, its 388 stores built in 22 years are still concentrated in the “Yangtze River Delta”, and 57% of its revenue comes from Zhejiang Province; In addition, the old uncle’s earning power is not as good as the rural chicken and rural base.
According to the prospectus, the old uncle’s revenue increased from 1.222 billion yuan in 2019 to 1.525 billion yuan in 2021; In the same period, the net profit fell from 65.17 million yuan to 62.99 million yuan. In 2021, the revenue of Laoxiang chicken was 4.393 billion yuan and the net profit was 135 million yuan; In the first three quarters of 2021, the rural base revenue was 3.4 billion yuan and the net profit was 163 million yuan. The revenue scale was 2.8 times and 2.2 times that of the old uncle respectively.
In addition, the old uncle’s delay in large-scale replication is also related to the decline in the size of its single store. Ge Xiantong, founder of Jingcai capital, told the city: “an important indicator to judge the future profitability or size of chain catering enterprises is the profitability of single stores.”
The high-quality single store model has strong anti risk ability and is an important guarantee for rapid expansion. The number of old uncle’s stores in the first tier and new first tier increased from 23 and 170 to 39 and 208 in 2021, respectively, but the average store revenue is both declining, from 5123600 yuan in 2019 to 3999300 yuan in the first tier; The new frontline fell from 4.3226 million yuan to 4.2525 million yuan.
In contrast, the number of laoxiangji stores increased from 769 in 2019 to 1073 in 2021, and the revenue scale increased from 2.85 billion yuan to 4.39 billion yuan, while the average revenue of a single store increased from 3.706 million yuan to 4.09 million yuan.
The decline in the scale of single store revenue is bound to bring risks to the further expansion of the old uncle. In the prospectus, the old uncle said that it usually takes 3-12 months for the new store to reach balance of payments. By the end of 2021, there were about 92 stores in my uncle’s family, which were in net loss in 2021, accounting for about 23% of the total.
It focuses on Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisine, but relies on fish flavored shredded meat to make a circle
The ambition of “Chinese fast food” is to challenge KFC McDonald’s, not to mention its scale and revenue. If you want to become the “first stock of Chinese fast food”, your uncle’s challenge is far more than that.
The essence of the expansion of catering enterprises, especially chain catering, is to form a standardized store model through the accumulation of early opening experience, so as to realize the replication of 1 to n.
Among the many factors that affect the scale of chain catering, product standardization is one of the core factors of scale ability. For example, McDonald’s has standards for what potatoes to choose for French fries, how thin they are cut, how long they are fried, what ingredients to match, how much salt to add, and how much oil temperature to control; It also requires Coca Cola to be 4 degrees Celsius, because Coke at this temperature tastes sweetest; The bread is 17 mm thick, and the bubbles in the bread are 0.5 mm thick, because that kind of bread has the best taste and taste when chewing in the mouth. For McDonald’s, standards are everything.
It is said that the content of McDonald’s operation manual has reached more than 25000, which is also McDonald’s business philosophy: “in any McDonald’s in the world, customers can enjoy the taste of the same standard.”
Compared with McDonald’s, which has only three SKUs (the smallest inventory unit) of hamburgers, French fries and cola, my uncle’s main dish is the signature rice + Chinese main dish. The signature dishes include Jiangnan braised fish, plum dried vegetables and pork, tea tree mushroom duck, fish and lion head, etc.
The simpler the category, the less difficult it is to standardize. Although it cannot be compared with McDonald’s 25000 operation manual standards, today’s Prefabricated dishes have largely helped my uncles solve the problem of product standardization. Uncle Lao pointed out in the prospectus: “at present, the proportion of prefabricated dishes of some popular chain catering brands has reached more than 80%.”
Compared with Western fast food, in addition to product standardization, Chinese fast food also needs to face difficult tastes. China not only has eight major cuisines, but also quite a lot of local dishes, ethnic dishes, special dishes, salty in the north, sweet in the south, spicy in the East, sour in the west, and so on. This is doomed that Chinese fast food is a “popular business with strong regional attributes”.
Although the old uncle around the Jiangsu Zhejiang Hubao postal area is doing mass business, it is difficult for more consumers to pay for “local cuisine”. It can also be seen from the sales volume of dishes that the top selling dish of the elderly uncle in 2021 is “fish flavored shredded pork”, which sold 8.384 million copies in 2021, far exceeding the 3.84 million copies of the signature Jiangnan braised fish and 6.55 million copies of pork with plum dried vegetables.
(from the old uncle’s official website)
Yuxiang shredded pork is really not the moat of the old aunt. Compared with Haidilao, Naixue’s tea, Taier pickled fish, etc., although the old aunt is mainly for “migrant workers”, and the repurchase rate of three meals a day is high, its per capita customer unit price of 30 yuan and less than 20% gross profit margin are far less than Haidilao. The core logic of the latter is to “pay for happiness”, that is, through the production and feedback of happiness and satisfaction, even if the per capita customer unit price of Haidilao in 2021 is 104 yuan, However, the demand thickness and consumption stickiness of hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot are stronger than that of rice set meal.
The last Chinese fast food with rice set meal was Zhengong. On December 22, 2008, Zhengong announced that the annual sales of rice fast food exceeded 50million. Real Kung Fu, which started in Guangzhou by steaming vegetables, was once known as the “first brand of Chinese catering standardization”, and even obtained the investment of “venture capital Queen” today’s capital Xu Xin in 2007, which was placed on the wish of “China KFC”. However, after the founder Cai Gangan fell into divorce, shareholder disputes, imprisonment and a series of dog blood events, now the store still exists, and the momentum is long gone.
Product standardization, scale chain and branding, these factors and rice set meal “out of the circle” are indispensable.
It’s hard for migrant workers to earn money
In fact, there are not a few catering enterprises pursuing listing in the past two years, including “Yang Guofu spicy hot”, creative noodle restaurant “Hefu Laomian”, hangbang cuisine on behalf of “green tea restaurant” and other brands. Even Jia Guolong, the founder of Xibei, who once said that he would never be listed, quietly changed his attitude, “I changed my mouth. If there is a right time, we will choose to invest in Xibei”. Wang Gang, the founder of Meizhou Dongpo, was also optimistic about the listing: “through the epidemic, I found that listing is one of the best ways to build a century old store.”
“This is not the spring of Chinese catering.” According to Yuan Shuai, Deputy Secretary General of the Rural Revitalization and Construction Committee of the China Cultural Management Association, under the impact of the COVID-19 in the past two to three years, catering brands have actively sought to be listed. To a large extent, many catering enterprises began to rethink their relationship with capital after experiencing a wave of business suspension and passenger flow decline.
The basis for the popularity of Chinese fast food is that the pain points of product standardization have been basically solved through the central kitchen and prefabricated dishes. In addition, benefiting from the online consumption tendency of young people, the takeout industry continues to grow rapidly. In 2021, the income of online takeout accounted for about 21.4% of the income of the national catering industry.
Under the fierce competition in catering, the challenges faced by the old uncle are also increasing day by day.
First of all, it’s hard for migrant workers to earn money for takeout. In fact, most of the money earned by Chinese fast food businesses such as Lao nianshu, whose main unit price is usually between 15 yuan and 20 yuan, and whose set meal unit price is between 20 yuan and 40 yuan, is still the money of migrant workers, and nearly 50% of the income of Lao nianshu comes from takeout business.
Compared with the gross profit margin of the store business, which fell to 13.60% from 16.42% in 2019, the gross profit margin of my uncle’s take away business also fell, from 19.65% to 19.53%. For the decline in gross profit margin, my uncle said it was “mainly due to the cost rise and employee salary rise caused by the upgrading of takeaway packaging”.
(cost pressure and demand behind catering chain, source: Ping An Securities)
In addition, from the perspective of comprehensive gross profit margin, the old uncle is not dominant. In 2019 and 2021, the comprehensive gross profit margin of Lao Nianji was 17.76%, 14.58% and 16.4% respectively, and the average gross profit margin of peers was 41.34%, 22.31% and 21.48% respectively. Among enterprises that also rushed to “the first share of Chinese fast food”, the gross profit margin of rural base in the first three quarters of 2021 was 57.6%; In 2021, the gross profit rate of rural chicken was 16.56%.
The gross profit rate of 16.4% of my uncle is not only far lower than that of McDonald’s, but also not high in the whole catering circuit. For example, the gross profit rate of Haidilao is 56%, that of Zhou Heiya is 57%, and that of Naixue’s tea is 34% in 2021.
In Ge Xiantong’s view, the catering industry is a fully competitive industry. There is no exclusive secret of business model, and there is no moat of core technology. It relies on a hard-working spirit and refined operation.
Compared with the steady development, the old uncle and the capital behind him are more eager to be listed at present. Before listing, in addition to the actual controllers Yang Guomin, Yang Junhui and his son holding 53.09% in total, the third largest shareholder was Jiang Jianqi, founder of Xiang Piao, holding 8.73%; The fourth largest shareholder is Jinbang investment, a venture capital company under hongzhaoming, the founder of Jinba brand men’s wear, with a shareholding of 8.73%. In addition, as one of the institutional investors, Jinhui investment has a shareholding ratio of 1.36%, and the actual controller is zongfuli, the daughter of zongqinghou, chairman of Wahaha.
In the list of shareholders published by my uncle, the proportion of Huzhou people in Zhejiang Province has exceeded 70%. In other words, once the old uncle is successfully listed, it will be a capital feast belonging to the “Huzhou system”. In order to go public, my uncle also signed a “bet agreement” with the investors, saying that if the listing materials cannot be submitted by the end of 2022 or the IPO can be completed by 2025, Yang Guomin is obliged to repurchase some or all of the shares held by the investors.
In fact, the original intention of Yang Guomin’s entrepreneurship was to see KFC McDonald’s sweeping China’s fast-food market and making a lot of money. You know, at the beginning, KFC opened its first store in China in Qianmen, Beijing, which once set the world’s highest record for KFC stores with a daily turnover of 300000 yuan.
Nowadays, Chinese fast food dominated by prefabricated dishes is finally becoming more and more popular and profitable, but migrant workers really want to eat and vomit when eating takeout.
(except for the source marked separately, the above pictures are from visual China)
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