Printer Friendly

Look out Peking Duck, doing chicken right is a 'white-bearded old man' from the USA.

Look Out Peking Duck, Doing Chicken Right Is a `White-Bearded Old Man' From the USA

It may be the astrological year of the snake in China, but it's the year of the chicken as far as Colonel Sanders is concerned.

And for good reason. The U.S.-headquartered Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fast food chain's Beijing restaurant off Tian'anmen Square has shattered two worldwide records. Not only did it sell an incredible 2,200 chickens in a single day last summer, but 1988 annual turnover soared to 3.6 million yuan. More than 1.2 million people patronized the establishment last year.

Such numbers are all the more impressive when one understands that the local menu is more expensive than its counterpart in the affluent West. Two pieces of fried chicken sell for about $1.70 in China, 20 cents more than in the United States.

Beijing Kentucky Company, a joint venture between the Municipality of Beijing and KFC International, will recoup its $2 million investment in just 18 months if business continues at this brisk pace, reported Daniel Lam, regional director for southeast Asia and China. It generally takes a new unit four or five years to break even.

The 505-seat Beijing restaurant, which serves food to more than 3,000 customers daily, is the largest KFC operation in the world. Situated opposite China's Forbidden City, the unit's popularity has inspired construction of six additional outlets in as many months. Others are on the drawing board, with one scheduled to open in Shanghai on June 1.

The first Western-style fast food restaurant in the nation came with a track record of success in Asia. "Go to the white-bearded old man for a bite to eat" is advice now given by Beijingers as well as people in Tokyo, Singapore and Taipei.

While two managers were recruited from the American conglomerate to head up the Beijing enterprise, the rest of the 230-person staff is Chinese. The restaurant offers a starting salary of 100 yuan per month plus bonuses, which is considered very good money for a young worker.

Unlike labor-tight regions of the United States, there are no problems finding workers in the People's Republic. Jobs ranging from cooking chicken and French fries to cleaning toilets are quickly snapped up. But there are some cultural problems that management faces.

"One headache we have is that some of our young employees don't know how to smile when serving people," explained Xia Jue, the chairman of the board of the Beijing Kentucky Company. "Some quit because they don't want to smile at strangers. Some stay, asking for a trial period to practice."

A 19-year-old waitress commented: "In the first few days I was forcing myself to smile so hard that my face ached when I slept."

But there can be no doubt that the enterprise's Chinese and foreign shareholders are having no trouble smiling...all the way to the bank.
COPYRIGHT 1989 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:News from Other Countries: People's Republic of China; Kentucky Fried Chicken International Corp.
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Apr 1, 1989
Words:487
Previous Article:Soviet and United States food interests establish international trade council.
Next Article:FF market repositionings intensify as Scandinavian firms gear up for '92.
Topics:


Related Articles
KFC National Management moves to 10 Bank St. in Wt. Plains.
Tyson, top chicken man in United States, wants to become America's protein man.
Chinese Vegetarian Food Imports Find Flourishing Market in USA.
KUNG PAO FLAVOR OUT OF THIS WORLD.
ORIGINALITY THE MAIN INGREDIENT MISSING FROM PEKING PAVILLION.
EXPRESS LANE : ON THE TABLE IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS.
CHURCHS TO PECK AT KFC CREST : THE FAT IS IN THE FIRE FOR FRIED-CHICKEN WAR.
SZECHWAN GARDEN WORTH DUCKING INTO : THE FACTS.
Bird flu outbreak in China leads to import ban in Japan. (Focus on Thailand).

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters