Seafood noodle chain expands rapidly in northern China

Published on
February 1, 2021

A Chinese seafood restaurant chain has opened more than 1,600 outlets over the past three years, following a successful drive to recruit franchisees in the country’s northern rust belt provinces.

Hai Xian Yu Shang Mian aims for the mass market with dishes like shrimp noodles and fried squid at costs averaging CNY 27.00 (USD 4.05, EUR 3.50). The company has grown by focusing on northern regions, where incomes are lower but economic growth often higher due to central government policy. The firm’s latest stores have been concentrated in Inner Mongolia (1,798 stores) and Heilongjiang (1,513 outlets). The chain has only one store in Beijing and three in Shanghai. 

Owned by a management firm headquartered in the wealthy east coast city of Hangzhou, the Hai Xian Yu Shang Mian chain opened its latest store in the sprawling central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. The chain claims opened 600 outlets since its start in 2015 and the end of 2017, and its growth has continued steadily since.

The chain is run by New Partner Catering (Xin Pai Dang Food & Beverage Management Co.), which sells rights to local franchisees for up to CNY 2 million (USD 300,000, EUR 260,000) per outlet. Its smallest restaurants are 20 square meters in size.

Franchising has become a big business in China in recent years as investors seek to capitalize on the country’s urbanization, higher incomes, and changing dining trends. Hai Xian Yu Shang Mian competes with Me Me Shi Guang, another mass-market chain that serves seafood dishes and fruit juices in casual, brightly decorated stores designed to appeal to younger customers.

Me Me Shi Guang is one of several seafood-focused chains with nationwide footprints operated by Wan Ke Chuang Ye Guoji Tuo Zi (Wan Ke Innovation International Investment Co., which also goes by the English name Winker Venture. A separate Wan Ke seafood chain, Chan Diao Yu, is focused on higher-end and older customers.

Photo courtesy of New Partner Catering

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