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Chinese restaurant chains face challenges (3)

By Li Woke (China Daily)

08:14, September 18, 2012

Chen Jie, kitchen assistant general manager of Jindingxuan, a famous Guangdong-style restaurant in Beijing, said: "standardizing our cooking procedure can improve the efficiency of professional chefs as well as cutting down costs. Our customers will be happy because they will spend less time waiting at their table."

McDonald's not only standardizes kitchen work but also its food resources. They can trace beef back to the farms where it was produced so the company knows exactly how the animal was reared.

Industry experts said traceability benefits the company's food management system. It is also essential because it ensures customer confidence in the company's food safety arrangements.

"Each Chinese restaurant operator should fully understand the importance of transforming and upgrading the industry," said vice-minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei. "(They) should learn from the experience of foreign counterparts to improve their own conditions, including the processing and distribution of food."

Xibei Restaurant's Jia said he will push forward the standardization of Xibei before opening about 30 restaurants next year in first tier cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

"The future of the Chinese food chain industry will be prosperous," said Su Qiucheng, president of the China Cuisine Association. "Look at Haidilao Hot Pot, XE Flavor and the Quanjude (Group) Co: They have all shown momentum in the rapid and sound development of their Chinese restaurant chains over the past years."

Last year, revenues of the Chinese catering industry topped 2 trillion yuan ($315 billion). The figure is expected to reach 3.7 trillion yuan by the end of 2015, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

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