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From Wenzhou to the world, Chinese restaurant chain brands win new opportunities

From Wenzhou to the world, Chinese restaurant chain brands win new opportunities


In 1995, Chen Chuanwu founded Wenzhou Baiyun Food Co., Ltd. in Zhejiang Province to produce and distribute quick-frozen foods. This was the predecessor of Zhengxin Group. In 2000, the company’s business began to transform and the first Zhengxin snack bar was opened in Wenzhou, which later gradually developed into the now well-known Zhengxin Chicken Steak. This brand originated in Wenzhou has experienced more than 20 years of tenacious struggle and continuous expansion, and has developed from an initial snack bar to today’s Wandian chain. What makes Zhengxin Chicken Steak stand out in the fierce competition in the fast food market? In the future business trend, how will Zhengxin continue to innovate and develop?

  More than just a chicken steak shop

Among the chicken steak brands that Chinese consumers are familiar with in 2023, 45.4% of consumers said they are familiar with Zhengxin Chicken Steak. The legend that “more than 720 million pieces of chicken steaks can be sold in a year, and the price of a piece of chicken steak is 10 to 12 yuan, the annual revenue from selling chicken steaks alone exceeds 7 billion yuan” is still spread among consumers.

In 2013, Zhengxin Chicken Steak was opened for franchising, and subsequently the store network expanded rapidly. According to public information, in July 2017, the number of Zhengxin chicken chop stores exceeded 10,000, becoming the first brand in the fast food snack category to have over 10,000 stores. With the vigorous development of Zhengxin, many fried chicken brands have also entered the highly competitive fast food market. When consumers have more and more choices, how does Zhengxin break out? Jin Jian, President of Zhengxin Group, said that a complete supply chain is Zhengxin’s primary development tool.

Chen Chuanwu, founder of Zhengxin Group, said that the reason why Zhengxin has become the king of store expansion is because all links such as factories, logistics, and decoration have been connected. “Front-end expansion drives back-end development, and back-end development provides strong support for the front-end. And strong support.”

In terms of raw material procurement, Zhengxin’s first self-owned processing base was put into operation in 2014, and now it has deployed more than 10 supporting production bases across the country. In the field of material distribution, Zhengxin has its own brand Compass Logistics, providing trade and logistics services. The 40 warehousing and logistics centers it has built across the country not only serve Zhengxin itself, but also provide supply chain services to more than 70 catering chain brands. In addition, Zhengxin is also responsible for the legislative projects of store design and decoration, as well as its subsidiary Huoma Technology that provides full-service new retail operations.

In the field of food industry, Zhengxin has successively invested in and built a number of large-scale food production enterprises in Shandong, Anhui, Shanghai, Hubei and Zhejiang. It has extensively deployed in the fields of quick-frozen preparations, seasoning powders, packaging and printing, etc., forming a multi-faceted Industry, a large-scale diversified industrial group integrating food R&D and production, supply chain, information technology, investment and other sectors.

Zhengxin is not just a chicken steak restaurant, but an industrial platform linked by catering chains. Not only selling chicken steaks, Zhengxin also “sells” stores and supply chain solutions. In order to make it easy for franchisees to get started, Zhengxin Group’s chicken steak production is highly standardized, from site selection and decoration to raw material supply, down to chicken breast weight, oil temperature, frying time, etc.

Zhengxin, which has spent more than 20 years building a full industry chain support system for chain restaurants, launched the “Forest Plan” in 2018 to replicate the original store expansion model, and proposed development concepts such as the entire industry chain, all categories, and comprehensive cooperation. According to Jin Jian, the “Forest Plan” relies on the ecological platform built by the group over more than 20 years. In addition to the main brand, it has incubated and discovered new sub-brands such as Dagu rice noodles, Zhengshaoji freshly caught braised meat, and Maozhanggui snail noodles. There are many good chain items like “Zhengxin Chicken Steak”. “Actively respond to changes in the external competitive environment and consumer demand, and inject new market vitality into the brand by seeking and updating product models, thereby winning new opportunities and development for the enterprise.”

Zhengxin Group overseas stores: Venice franchise store in Hanoi, Vietnam

Zhengxin Group Anhui Production Base

All pictures in this edition are provided by Zhengxin Group

  “Sweet potato vines” stretch from Wenzhou to overseas

As for the sweet potato economy related to people’s livelihood, it is the chain economy around us, especially the chains of catering and retail service institutions. Wenzhou people, who were world-famous for their industrial sweet potato economy in the early days, have emerged again in the era of consumer economy and created a number of new business chains.

These chain businesses not only cover traditional snacks such as duck tongue, fish balls, and glutinous rice, but also local brands that have modified Western-style fast food. They started from Wenzhou and gradually expanded to all parts of the country. The number of these chain stores even exceeds that of some world-renowned brands, forming a unique closed operation model of the entire industry chain. Zhengxin Chicken Steak is a typical representative of Wenzhou’s sweet potato economy. This chicken steak restaurant chain, which has long been spread throughout the streets and alleys of domestic cities, has now also expanded its business territory outside of China.

In October 2023, Zhengxin Chicken Steak Japan Tokyo store will open. On the first day of opening, the dining area was packed and customers even lined up outside the store. Pedestrians passing by were attracted by the bustling scene in the store and the fragrant smell of chicken steaks, and joined the “queuing army” one after another.

In order to better expand overseas markets, Zhengxin Group has made full preparations in terms of personnel, raw materials, logistics and policies.

The first is to dispatch the company’s elite forces to the Zhengxin International Department to form a “special team” for overseas market expansion to assist franchisees in selecting sites, opening stores, and ensuring store quality; at the same time, Zhengxin’s food factories have applied to the customs department for the “Registration of Export Food Production Enterprises” Proof”, opening up a green channel for the transportation of raw materials to foreign stores. In addition, the company has also configured preferential policies to introduce franchise fee reduction and exemption policies for mature franchise customers, and encourages outstanding domestic franchisees and overseas Chinese to participate in overseas franchises.

In 2023, Zhengxin Food Group has opened 34 stores in Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Japan and other countries. In early March this year, the store in Milpitas (Bay Area) in the United States was put into trial operation and became very popular. The Kuala Lumpur Airport store in Malaysia also entered the trial opening phase on March 7. Jin Jian introduced that Zhengxin Group plans to use the Southeast Asian market as a template for overseas expansion, and then radiate globally after the model matures. At the same time, as the number of stores continues to increase, Zhengxin will continue to expand and improve supporting facilities such as food processing plants and cold chain logistics overseas to provide all-round support for the overseas expansion of “Chinese Fried Chicken”.

  “Strong franchise” policy: a new stage of high-quality development

In 2023, Zhengxin Group aims to develop high-quality franchise stores, operates multi-brand and omni-channel operations, completed the image upgrade of 3,795 new Chicken King stores, and also launched a new batch of hot-selling products with the ultimate cost-effectiveness, such as Bulk fried chicken, golden hammered chicken wings and raw fried large chicken drumsticks are widely welcomed by consumers. In one year, Zhengxin Group signed nearly 3,000 new franchise stores. At this year’s global investment conference, Zhengxin Group launched a “strong franchise” policy: no franchise fees, no brand usage fees, no management fees, and the company will advance decoration fees, equipment payments, and purchase payments, allowing franchisees to Customers who are willing to join “can easily pick up a bag and start a business after finding a suitable store.”

Not only does it provide cost support, Zhengxin Group also provides all-round assistance for the subsequent operations of franchise stores.

“The company’s professional team will monitor the store. If the store is not suitable for opening Zhengxin Chicken Steak, it will be dissuaded in time to avoid increasing the risk of starting a business. In addition, the franchise store must be consistent with the company in terms of business philosophy and management methods and obey all requirements. management and assessment.” Jin Jian said, “In the second half of 2023, we piloted this policy and opened more than 10 franchise stores in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai and other places, and the current operation is good. For this reason, we will fully implement it domestically this year According to this policy, it is currently planned to add 4,000 franchise stores.” With the expansion of franchise stores, how to improve store food quality and hygiene management has become a key issue. In this regard, Zhengxin stores have established a back-end monitoring system since last year, and new stores have introduced AI monitoring. Each store must install 1 to 2 cameras to monitor food safety.

In addition, the company’s food safety team will regularly inspect and manage stores to carefully analyze and resolve consumer complaints and other issues.

“High-quality development, for Zhengxin, means opening high-quality franchise stores.” According to Jin Jian, the strong franchise model aims to reduce franchisees’ entrepreneurial risks and allow franchisees to easily start their own businesses. “We encourage more franchisees to rely on the Zhengxin brand to achieve success and make money.”

Yin Limei/Text



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