China Food

The world’s No. 1 fast food chain is “rotten” in China



“ 
has caught up with and surpassed McDonald’s KFC, and now it can’t move.
 ”
Do you know which is the largest fast food chain in the world?
 
It is not KFC, which has broken through 8000 stores in China, nor McDonald’s, which has 38695 global chains, but subway, a sandwich brand with a little “transparency” in the hearts of many people.
 
With 45000 stores around the world, how did subway quietly become a fast food chain giant?
 
After 57 years, how did it fall from the altar step by step?
 
After reading this article, you will understand.
The birth of chain fast food “King”
In August 1965, Fred DeLuca, a 17-year-old high school graduate, borrowed $1000 at the suggestion of his doctor’s friend to start the sandwich restaurant business in order to earn enough college tuition and pocket money – the first subway was born.
 
At this time, McDonald’s has dominated the American fast food market for more than 10 years.
 
Different from the traditional foreign fast food with “high fat and high calorie” in the past, subway decided to take the differentiated route of “low calorie health”. There are 4 kinds of bread, 12 kinds of low-fat non fried meat, 8 kinds of fresh vegetables and 12 kinds of sauce. In a sandwich, there are often more dishes than meat, which caters to people’s pursuit of “healthy” fast food.
 
Source: unsplash
Like the name “subway”, subway is mainly opened at the subway entrance with a dense flow of people. Most of its stores are small in size and simple in decoration. The whole production process is completed under the noses of customers. On average, a sandwich is freshly baked every 2.5 minutes. This can not only save the store rent to a certain extent, but also win the love of busy workers.
 
In the ninth year of its establishment, subway encountered a bottleneck in its development – the number of 16 stores is too small, and if it continues to expand, it may run out of funds.
Facing this problem, Fred DeLuca turned his eyes to “franchise”.
After investigating the successful cases of McDonald’s and KFC, subway officially started to join in 1975.
However, unlike McDonald’s and KFC’s “direct sales + franchise” model, which often invests millions of dollars, subway chooses a low threshold “pure franchise” model, with a preliminary franchise fee of only $10000. In contrast, this “small-scale operation” quickly attracted franchisees everywhere.
 
Source: unsplash
A year later, the number of subway stores soared to 200, entering a stage of rapid development: in 1991, it reached the small goal of “5000 stores”, entered the Chinese market in 1995, and became the world’s largest fast-food chain in 2010 with 33749 branches, surpassing McDonald’s… since then, subway has begun to spread “viral” around the world.
 
As of June 2017, subway had nearly 45000 chain stores in more than 100 countries around the world, with an average of 5 new stores per day at the fastest time. On the number of stores, no matter at the global level,
The glory of subway seems to be gone forever.
 
In fact, the foreshadowing of its decline has been hidden in the reason why the Chinese people do not love it.
It doesn’t attract the Chinese people, and it foreshadows its downfall
The survey shows that in China, only 18% have heard of subway and have been there; 40% had heard of it but had not been there.
 
Subway, which is not to the taste of the Chinese people, is like a little transparent. If you drive your own, I will not eat it.
 
Why is subway, which Americans love, not popular with Chinese people?
 
Source: pixabay
First of all, subway’s main concept of “health” has been difficult to adapt to the Chinese market where the definition of health and catering needs are rapidly changing.
 
From 2017 to 2021, the number of light food industry registrations in China increased significantly, and the accumulated new enterprises accounted for 64% of the total; In 2019, the number of light food orders and merchants on meituan platform increased by 98% and 58% respectively year-on-year.
 
Source: Huajing Industrial Research Institute
In the increasingly competitive market segment, many healthy, low-cost and rich brands have emerged. Subway is not the best choice for Chinese consumers.
 
Secondly, “arrogant display” is the main reason why subway is unpopular.
 
The general manager of subway in Greater China once said in an interview: “we are the largest sandwich shop in the world, and our sandwiches are the best. Over the past 48 years, our experience and advantages are all in this, not in making fried dough sticks and soybean milk.” “you will never find that one day we will sell white porridge.”.
 
Sure enough, it was not until the National Day in 2016 that subway launched its first Chinese product – Sichuan spicy chicken sandwich, which has been more than 20 years since it first entered the Chinese market.
 
Source: unsplash
On the other hand, KFC and McDonald’s have seen an endless stream of new Chinese-style products, even with their own characteristics in different regions. Old Beijing chicken rolls, braised chicken drumsticks with pickled bamboo shoots, oil splashed spicy ice cream… Have successfully captured the stomach of Chinese consumers.
 
In addition to being indifferent to new product development, subway, which is keen to open new stores quickly, is also half a pace behind its rivals in sales channels.
 
All fast-food restaurants have “played with” online ordering, but subway still hasn’t taken any action. It was only in 2016 that it suddenly realized that it has entered the digital era. Therefore, it immediately announced the establishment of a new Department called subway digital group to take charge of relevant businesses.
 
In other aspects, subway, the world’s No. 1, is also used to “muddling along”.
 
In the United States, subway spent more than $500 million on advertising every year from 2012 to 2016.
 
Source: spear and shield of China saibaiwei
 
In China, advertising funds come from the revenue of stores nationwide. Most stores have fallen into a vicious circle of “less revenue, no money for advertising, no advertising, and it is difficult to increase turnover”.
In addition, faced with a large franchise group, subway
The world’s No. 1 fast food chain is “rotten” in China
 
美国人爱的赛百味,到底为什么“不招中国人喜欢”?
 
来源:Pixabay
首先,赛百味主打的“健康”理念,已难以适应健康定义、餐饮需求急速改变的中国市场。
 
2017-2021年,我国轻食行业注册数量大幅增长,累计新增企业占总量的64%;2019年,美团平台的轻食订单量和商家数分别同比上升98%和58%。
 
来源:华经产业研究院
竞争日益激烈的细分市场中,涌现出了很多健康、低价、种类丰富的品牌,赛百味对于中国消费者而言并不是最优选。
 
其次,“傲慢的摆烂”是赛百味不受待见的主因。
 
赛百味的大中华区总经理曾在采访中表示:“我们是全球最大的三明治店,我们做三明治才是最棒的。48年来,我们的经验和优势都在于此,而不在于做油条、豆浆”,“你绝对不会发现有一天我们卖白粥”。
 
果然,直到2016年的国庆,赛百味才推出了第一款中国化产品——川香麻辣鸡三明治,而这距离它首次进入中国市场已经过去了20多年。
 
来源:Unsplash
反观肯德基、麦当劳,中国式新品层出不穷,甚至在不同地域也各有特色,老北京鸡肉卷、酸笋板烧鸡腿堡、油泼辣子冰激凌……成功抓住了中国消费者的胃。
 
除了新品研发不上心之外,热衷于快速开新店的赛百味,在销售渠道上也慢对手半拍。
 
各大快餐店都把线上点餐“玩出花”了,赛百味仍迟迟没有动作, 2016年才恍然大悟:原来已经进入了数字时代。于是随即宣布成立名为Subway Digital Group的新部门,负责相关业务。
 
在其他方面,全球第一的赛百味,同样习惯于“得过且过”。
 
在美国,自2012年至2016年,赛百味每年花费超过5亿美元来做宣传广告。
 
来源:《中国赛百味的“矛”与“盾”》
 
而在中国,广告经费都来自全国门店的营收。让大多数店铺都陷入了“营收少了就没钱做广告,不做广告宣传,营业额也很难提上去”的恶性循环。
此外,面对庞大的加盟群体,赛百味禁止加盟商自行采购当地的新鲜食材,却只在中国指定了一家供应商。物流链、供应链漫长且不稳定的问题,导致了大多数赛百味门店每周仅进货1至2次,食材新鲜度难以保证。
即使有加盟商想根据当地情况进行调整和创新,也会在赛百味冗杂的管理、低效的沟通、漫长的申报中,逐渐丧失耐心。
来源:Pixabay
 
迟钝的察觉市场变化、呆滞的不作为……以上种种,和赛百味当初“在知晓中国消费者饮食偏好后,仍明确表示不退步”的态度,其实是同一种逻辑。
 
说它摆烂也好、傲慢也罢,反正从决定脱离消费者诉求做生意的那一刻起,就注定了赛百味的前路漫漫、坎坷不断。

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[7]2021年中国轻食行业市场现状及发展前景分析 相较于欧美市场渗透率发展空间极大https://bg.qianzhan.com/trends/detail/506/211208-95e79e24.html|前瞻研究院
[8]赛百味被曝面包含违规添加物 称中国区不含http://fashion.sina.com.cn/d/he/2014-02-11/103934992.shtm|广州日报
[9]yingxin.SUBWAY~赛百味凭什么超越麦当劳?[J].创业邦,2013(11):92-93.
[10]一年关店超1100家,赛百味为何走上了下坡路?https://news.pedaily.cn/201901/440109.shtml|亿欧网
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[12]赛百味被曝用过期食材 偷换标签https://health.huanqiu.com/article/9CaKrnJGgVb|法制晚报
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