In the CBD of the city, there are "not bad" stores like Heycha and Nayuki on the first floor. More than a dozen employees in a store make a drink, and there are also expensive European bags and ice cream in the store. A drink of 30 yuan is the normal price.
Compared with these two brand stores, the storefront of Michelle Ice City at Jiekou is narrow and cramped, but the floor efficiency is not lower than the former two. There are four or five employees in a store, and the clerk can make drinks without collaboration. There are still 4 yuan lemonade in the store. The queue problem at the door caused by the high cost performance cannot be completely solved by the introduction of small programs for ordering.
Hey Tea and Naixue are well-known new consumer brands and representatives of new tea drinks. Michelle Ice City is the representative of popular beverages, but judging from the number of their stores, the basics of popular beverages are far more solid than new consumer brands with a lot of news.
▲ The Xicha store has exquisite decoration and high-level aesthetics
As of the end of 2020, Hey Tea has more than 660 stores, and Nayuki's tea also has 491 stores. In June 2020, Michelle Ice City already has 10,000 stores in China, and the mass base is unmatched.
This is also the characteristic of China's Wandian brand. There is not so much discussion, not so much attention, but it is a familiar and favored existence in the streets and alleys.
China’s four major 10,000-store brands are all for food
There are four million stores in China, and most people may only guess two or three. Even if you put in an important clue-it is related to "food", some people might still speculate on Golden Arches, Shaxian Snacks, Lanzhou Ramen… It's just that the answer may be far from your guess.
Juewei, Michelle Ice City, Zhengxin Chicken Chop, Wallace, these are the only brands in China that have more than 10,000 stores.
If it is 2019, there are still four on this list, but Michelle has not been on the list at the time, and OYO, which is popular in the OEM franchise model, is on the list. However, the OEM franchise model soon encountered its own crisis. At the end of 2019, Huazhu founder Ji Qi said that OYO has only 1,567 hotels in China.
▲ OYO, an accommodation brand that once reached 10,000 stores
There are also many accommodation brands that want to hit Wandian. Apart from the failed OYO, Jin Jiang Hotel is probably one of the closest brands. According to its hotel annual report , as of December 31, 2020, Jin Jiang Group has opened a total of 9,406 hotels. In addition, BTG Hotel has a plan of 10,000 stores, and China Lodging also has the goal of "a thousand cities and 10,000 stores".
But in general, these are "unfinished." It depends on the completion of Wandian, which can only be found in the catering industry.
Looking back at these four Wandian brands, you will find that they have only touched the Wandian target in the last four years. This is certainly related to changes in the consumption environment, and people are more willing to spend money. They are very calm about buying snacks and milk tea. But in this wave of trends, there are only these four brands that can successfully break through 10,000 stores.
It is worth mentioning that Michelle Ice City, which has gained more attention through the new tea drink Dongfeng, is actually the latest brand to achieve the goal of 10,000 stores among the four brands. It is just that the expansion rate is extremely fast. In 2016, there were only 2500 stores. In June 2020, it exceeded 10,000 stores and is currently expanding to around 15,000 stores.
The first is Zhengxin Chicken Chop. In 2017, it successfully exceeded 10,000 stores. Now there are 23,000+ stores, which are far ahead of Wandian brands. What is impressive is that Zhengxin Chicken Chop also launched a "Forest Project" in 2019, with the goal of opening 100,000 stores worldwide.
▲ Zhengxin Chicken Chop has surpassed 20,000 official stores a long time ago
The shortest time to complete Wandian is Juewei Duck Neck. It only took 14 years to become the second Wandian brand in 2017. At present, it has more than 16,000 branches all over the world. This dynamic lo-mei brand is more influential than you think.
Wallace is the third brand to achieve this goal. This may be the fast food chain with the largest number of stores in China or even Asia. Although it has always been considered to be a pirated fast food brand of KFC and McDonald's, Wallace has taken a different path from these two brands in terms of business model. As of June 30, Wallace had more than 18,000 stores , 5,000 more than the two more well-known fast food stores.
Compared with consumer brands that have attracted much attention, the four 10,000-store brands of fried chicken, lo-mei, fast food, and tea are all very low-key. Their new products rarely arouse social media attention and discussion, but the streets and alleys of Juewei, Michelle Ice City, Zhengxin Chicken Chop, and Wallace's stores are proving that brands can be successful without being active in reports. .
▲ Wallace Store. Picture from: Yanshi
Why do they have thousands of stores?
From one store to 10,000 stores, first of all, the founders of these brands have to run through the business model themselves. In other words, if a single store is profitable, you can open a second store and a third store, and gradually expand the brand's radiation area. When the store itself cannot be opened, the franchise model is a weapon to help the brand store expand rapidly.
When the high-priced brands of the same category such as Heytea and Naixue's tea were not open for franchising, most of the four Wandian brands were open for franchising, with the only exception being Wallace.
In fact, Wallace has also opened up "joining", but their form of cooperation is more like store crowdfunding, the headquarters is an entrepreneurial platform, and the participants are the shareholders. Wallace does not have a store owner who owns 100% of the shares. It is said that 40% is the upper limit for a single person to "join". The remaining shares are held by the brand headquarters and store employees, so that the staff of every store becomes an interest. community.
It is worth mentioning that Wallace seems to have certain requirements for joining partners. For example, they prefer employees of their own brands, support employees to transfer to shareholders, and create their own stores. At the same time, people who have store resources and business contacts are more likely to become their partners. So some people are joking, if you want to join Wallace, you must first become a Wallace employee.
▲ Wallace has no official franchise channel
On various platforms, it is difficult for you to find information about Wallace's joining. Officials will also take the initiative to fight counterfeiting, stating that they will not expand their business externally. From the perspective of the franchise model of all brands, Wallace's model is unique.
Can this model guarantee food safety? The answer is no.
Among the four Wandian brands, Wallace’s food safety issues should be the most well-known. In addition to the rumors related to a certain entertainment star "Splatoon", there are also many food safety issues that the brand is often exposed to. For example, chicken chops are dropped on the ground to be picked up and fried, food is made without gloves, flies and insects gather in the storage room…
Of course, there are a lot of news related to employee operating procedures. Zhang Hongfu, the co-founder of Michelle Ice City, once discovered during an inspection that there are a number of franchisees using "inventive" methods to make lemon tea; Juewei duck neck ranked second in the negative review rate in an analysis report of NCBD. Bugs and spoiled taste are all complaints about the worst-hit areas; the largest Zhengxin Chicken Chop has fewer similar negative news, but many complaints can still be found on the complaint platform.
▲Sampling inspection of Shanghai Wallace store, the inspection in the picture did not find any problems
For the large-scale four Wandian brands, the hidden dangers of food safety are likely to always exist. There are indeed a lot of experience to learn from how other brands can reassure consumers of food safety, but these are probably not suitable for large-scale Wandian brands. Because this means increasing costs, which is the enemy of the Wandian brand with high quality and low price.
Hey Tea's approach is to divide the tea-making process into more than a dozen processes, and each person is responsible for one. This is conducive to standardized management and control, but it also means increased costs. Transparent kitchens, cameras, product quality inspectors…These are all good ways to dispel some food safety concerns, but at the same time they also mean increased costs.
▲ Anti-epidemic propaganda at Juewei Duck Neck Store
Except for most Wallace stores that have seats, Juewei, Zhengxin Chicken Chop, and Michelle Ice City are almost all small shop models that buy and go. They compressed the cost as much as possible to create a chain item with lower prices and guaranteed quality. For these chain brands, the rise in costs in any link may affect their core competitiveness.
Ten yuan chicken chops, three yuan ice cream, six yuan chicken rolls and hamburgers… these low-priced trump card items occupy the minds of users one by one, helping users remember the brand names of good quality and low price.
▲ Wallace's menu many years ago, compared with today, there is still no significant price increase
Match the real consumption level of most users in China
Compared with the new consumer brands, the Wandian brand may have many "inferiorities."
New product research and development is not as good as new consumption, brand marketing investment is not as good as new consumption, and store tonality is not as good as new consumption. Perhaps the upgrade of channels and user evaluation are not as fast and as good as new consumer brands. However, their ability to reach 10,000 stores proves that their model is not only powerful and reproducible, but also can perfectly match the consumption level of most Chinese users.
30+ yuan for a cup of fruit tea, 1,000+ yuan for sports shoes, 800+ yuan for yoga pants, 70+ yuan for trendy toys. These things are not bad, but to a certain extent they are indeed products that some Chinese cannot afford to consume. They belong to the minority with sufficient consumption power. Most Chinese consumers still care about cost performance, which is why brands that focus on sinking markets are getting more and more attention.
▲ Many consumers cannot afford the prices of many brands that are of interest
These Wandian brands are also working hard to keep costs down, and their scale makes them eligible to keep prices down. According to industry insiders, most of these large-scale brands have built their own supply chains and factories, and the raw materials they can get are 20 to 30% lower than their counterparts.
In the choice of ingredients, they are also rushing to save money. Hey Tea uses fresh fruits and high-end teas, while Michelle Ice City uses canned fruits and milk tea powder. KFC uses Heinz sauce for chicken thighs, while Wallace is chicken breasts with McCormick sauce.
The raw materials are cheaper, and they are "soft" in marketing. The marketing of these brands is not considered "heavy." Juewei's 2020 semi-annual report shows that its product raw materials account for more than 80% of its main business costs. The raw materials spend more money, but less can be spent on marketing.
In order to save money, the product lines of these brands are somewhat "single". The frequency of launching new products is slow, and low-priced ace hot products continue to drain the store, which also saves the brand's new product marketing budget. At the same time, the more focused demand for product raw materials can help brands keep low prices and keep low prices again.
▲ Zhengxin Chicken Chop is very concentrated
Although these brands don't invest much in marketing, low prices are the best publicity. Not everyone can feel the difference between a cup of milk tea for 6 yuan and milk tea for 30 yuan, but everyone can feel the difference in price.
Therefore, after the queues for new consumption of tea have decreased, the number of people lining up to pick up meals at the entrance of Michelle Ice City has increased.
"China Catering Big Data 2021" shows that in recent years, the chain of China's catering market has been accelerating. The proportion of catering chain stores with a scale of more than 20,000 stores also increased from 0.7% in 2018 to 1.4% in 2020. These four brands are the best proof among them. They prove that mature catering supply chains and low prices can be popular in all markets in China.
▲ Michelle Ice City 4 yuan lemonade is also a hit
Lo-mei, fried chicken, milk tea… Some investors call these categories "addiction-type categories." Because the consumption frequency of these categories is high and the demand is large, users will continue to buy and consume. However, there are many brands in these categories, and only four brands that have done well in the supply chain and price system are truly able to achieve 10,000 stores.
Users can afford to consume and users like to eat, and they can match the consumption level of most users in the Chinese market.
The title picture comes from "Love Apartment Season 4"
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