Friday, February 03, 2006

[find] Starting a Taiwanese restaurant in Beijing

Great snippet of an interview with a successful Taiwanese restaurant owner, regarding how they prepared to start their first restaurant in Beijing. They rented a fully operational restaurant, and engaged in the following five-part plan:

1) Close the language gap -- Turns out the Taiwanese called tomatoes by a completely different name from the people in Beijing. They built a Taiwanese-Beijingese dictionary for every term their restaurant needs.

2) Find local suppliers -- Turns out soysauce in Beijing doesn't taste the same as soysauce in Taiwan. So they went and identified suitable local suppliers for every ingredient they need for the menu, that would produce the same flavor.

3) Train the local chefs -- Goes without saying. Practice. Practice. Practice.

4) Run taste tests with Taiwanese customers -- Afterall their mission is to produce the same authentic flavor, even with ingredients and chefs from a different part of the country.

5) Identify appropriate sauces for non-Taiwanese customers -- They realized that many non-Taiwanese customers may not be used to the new flavors. So they prepared sauces that can help transition/introduce them from Shan-Dong, Hunan, and other flavors.