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Posts: 1318

Shifu

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Q: Would a no-name hot wings sports bar survive here?

Basically a Chinese business man wants to open "something like Buffalo Wild WIngs" (a sports bar chain that focuses on selling chicken wings).  He's willing to front all the money, just wants me to invest time in designs, recipes, basically making sure it doesn't look and feel like a Chinese bar.  He wants to start it in this industrial zone I'm in first to gain the experience and perfect the place before moving to Shanghai.  

So my question becomes, how many months do you think a place like that would stay open?  

I'm just trying to get a guess to how much free food and beer I can get out of the place before he closes it, and basically see if that is worth my time to do floor plans, train the cooks to flip burgers and fry wings, etc.

8 years 24 weeks ago in  Food  - Other cities

 
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Personally, I would kill for honest-to-goodness buffalo wings! I can't find them here no way no how! That is one food I absolutely miss!

I guess it would depend on a few factors, like what type of clientel you are trying to attract, how good the food actually was, and the price. Also, as they say, location. But, that being said, give it a shot. Yeah, it'll be some work, but if it flys, the freebies will continue, and you can have some bragging rights!

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
Posts: 5600

Emperor

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in all seriousness, if you do something like that in a 3rd tier city go simple and cheap with the interior design aspect. the product is the must important thing. he needs to find a trusted cook who is not a nationalist or lazy. they must understand the most important thing is preparing it correctly and not cutting corners. i want to "suei cide bob" every restaurant that cooks their wings or hot dogs in the microwave. next they need to target foreigners. hire people to target walmarts , schools , and anywhere foreigners gather or hide to pass out adverts. make sure the the adverts include clear directions , address and which bus to take . the advertising should be  done on a massive scale within 2 weeks prior to the opening. their opening 2 weeks should be kicked of with a special 1/2 price sale on said buffaloe wings . they need to seriously understand that if you do the wings right people will pay top dollar for them. and it is vitally import theyh serve cold beer and dont charge over 6rmb for the beer. (incentive) i forgot what else i was going to say

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3339

Emperor

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Get the money upfront.

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
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6 months, tops. It might actually stay open longer, but will be in serious decline, aby which time he will want out anyway... (depending on your city... if it's in the right place in BH or SH..maybe longer)

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Maybe if you open it where there is a true expat community, not just a tourist destination. One of the biggest things I hear complaints about is the lack of good western food. Take the risk. Especially if you have the time and are using his money Wink

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
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I love the idea, I think the concept would go over well here (for Chinese clients as well - chicken wings are popular and so is spicy), but I fear it will be too cost prohibitive.  A wing joint does well in say the US because it's, well, cheap.  Also, remember where you are talking about doing this.  While I love me some wangs, this is a recipe for a restaurant that will have tables and floors COVERED in chicken bones.  If you can do cheap wings, you will get local clientele, and they will bring their eating habits with them, ie, spitting bones out on the tables and floors, especially if drinking is involved.

Here's the other issue I see with this:

Chicken wings are not as inexpensive here as they are in the US, simply because they are seen as one of the best parts of the chicken here.  500g of wings often costs more than 500g of chicken breast, exactly the opposite of the US.  Take a look at KFC - even the chicken burger here is made from a chicken leg because of the preferences of the local Chinese market, and they sell 2 "wings" (the drumette and the mid-section of 1 wing) for 9 rmb.  And that's with large corporate purchasing power.

My bet is that you'd have to go about 5rmb per wing to make profit just selling wings.  In the US, wings promotions are used to actually sell more alcohol, so if that's your plan, you might be able to drop that price a bit to 4 or maybe 3rmb a wing, but then I'd bet the profit margin would be close to zero for the wings, which seems central to the concept here.

If you really want to go ahead with this, I'd modify the concept to the market here, especially if you are going after a foreigner market.  Chicken breasts here are "the cheap" part of the chicken and chicken tenders are as well.

Work out a deal to buy this "cheap" part in bulk, cut them into strips or nice sized chuncks, dip them in a little seasoned flour, fry 'em up, then coat them in a variety of sauces.  Traditional buffalo style with a side of bleu cheese dressing and some celery sticks, offered in various degrees of heat (mild to OH DEAR GOD!), honey-mustard, BBQ, and throw in a few sauces that will appeal to the Chinese customer base - ma la taste, Thai garlic and chili, plum sauce, whatever.  You get the idea.

In Shanghai, even at local grocery store chains, you can buy chicken breasts for 5-8rmb, so the wholesale price is going to be dirt cheap, so there's your cost effectiveness.

Expats will come because it's white meat chicken and the price, Chinese will come because of the price.  You'd probably be able to do a sizable portion of these for dirt cheap.  .  Sell them by weight, like 250g, 500g, 1kg platters.  Then you'd have individual portions as well as a big plate that can be shared with friends (important here).  Round out the menu with some usual pub-grub (burgers, etc) and offer sides that appeal to the locals (cucumber wedges, peanuts, etc) and this might work.

Just an idea.  You asked for opinion and I gave it to you Laughing out loud

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1933

Shifu

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I'd say he actually might have a good shot at it, if he plays his cards right and has a good business sense. Shanghai people are always chasing after genuine foreign experiences, and the city has all kinds of thriving foreign this or that, which is generally a pretty good approximation (went to a Portuguese pastelaria in sh that was almost indistinguishable from the real thing, sans soccer and Portuguese people). I've gone grocery shopping in Shanghai and have people following me around, putting the same things in their basket as I do.

Shanghai is like the opposite of China.

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1112

Governor

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Derek told a story about how he put out some wings for some Chinese friends they tried to eat them with chopsticks you should think about whether they can even eat the wing the right way

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8 years 24 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2735

Governor

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You bet it would do good here tiger. And saying that you want to get all the wings and beers out of the place for free is you know kinda shady. Your turning on me Daben! Your turning on me! 

That place should stay up for not months but years! If hot wings are anything like back home they are gonna love it here. Just make sure you get specials like a wednesday special when all the sports games are on. 

The only way for a place to survive is to make it appealing. If you do good on the outside of the place people will come closer. If you do good inside they will want to stay. And if you make good food they will be a regular customer loyal and proud. 

That's how all the great chains started. They were no-names at first and became a household name over time. Just remember outside attracts customers to come closer, inside attraction makes them want to stay longer and the food will turn them into a regular customer: loyal and happy!kiss

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8 years 23 weeks ago
 
Posts: 175

Governor

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the competition.
In Shanghai, Hooters & TGIFs would be big dogs in that department.
There's no shame in mimicking thier business models.
Create an ambiance;

  • Put up western-themed posters.
  • Scattering memorabilia around.
  • Hire pretty waitresses in short skirts.
  • Get satelitte feeds to pipe in sports from around the world.
  • As far as food, no wing joint survives by exclusively selling wings & beer.
  • Consider offering a variety of options.
  • Choose some or all of the following finger foods;
  • burgers, sandwiches, boneless chicken, pizza, tacos, burritos, etc.
  • As someone mentioned earlier, the cuts of chicken are priced differently here. Expect to turn less profit off of the wings and more off of breast meat. Alcohol sales is usually the focus point for profit margin anyway.
  •  

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8 years 23 weeks ago
 
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