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KFC in China: Secret Recipe for Success 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470823842
ISBN-10: 0470823844
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470823844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470823842
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
As a former business leader with major MNCs and now an entrepreneur in China for many years, I know KFC has been doing pretty well in this country. However, I had no idea how successful KFC is in China until I have finished reading Warren's book. While China business accounts for 5-10% for most Fortune 500 companies today, Yum! Brands China contributed 21% of the group's global sales and 23% of its earnings in 2007, and the company is still growing fast in this market.

For readers who are not in the restaurant business, don't assume restaurant is an easy business in China. In fact, the opposite is true. In today's China, consumers have just too many choices, it's one of the world's most competitive restaurant markets in terms of variety, prices and choices. So one can't help wondering how KFC can do it. What are the key elements that are accountable for the KFC success?

Warren as a key person behind this business success has insightfully revealed the key learnings from KFC's success in China: from deploying ethic Chinese leaders to developing local managers quickly to support the company's aggressive growth strategy, from seeking operational excellence to building strong relationships with partners and governments, from adopting flexible product and marketing strategies to building a highly efficient supply chain.

Anyone who is running a China business, no matter which industry they are in, can learn something from KFC's success in China by taking an inside look at the company's operations in the country through Warren's eyes.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a number of China success guides, but Warren K. Liu's work is original for a variety of reasons. Never before have I studied such an honest and detailed account of the inner-workings of an indispuitably successful brand in China: KFC. And all written from the perspective of anticipating its continued China dominance over global market leader, McDonald's. As a former vice president of business development and a member of the Tricon Greater China Executive Committee, Mr. Liu is certainly in a position to know how and why KFC became such a runaway success in China. "Also ran" brands such as KFC always have a chance at redemption in China, provided that they have the right strategy. Buick positioned successfully as a luxury brand in China is another example that comes to mind. However, the KFC experience in China is truly unique and much can be learned from Liu's detailed account.

A major part of the story begins at McDonald's in Taiwan, where the vast predominance of KFC China's senior staff were recruited, including author Warren K. Liu. The amazing success of this experienced group Liu affectionately refers to throughout the book as the "Taiwan Gang" shows that recruiting the right talent, especially in terms of management, at the outset of global businesses entering the China market is key. The next stage, which Mr. Liu also details, is the effective handing over of key management positions to local Mainland Chinese colleagues after passing on skills. Overall, Liu identifies the quality of the management team as a key KFC business differentiator in China.

KFC's brand positioning as "An American Brand with Chinese Characteristics" is also critical, demonstrating that Mr.
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Format: Paperback
At last, a business book that shows exactly how important local cultural understanding is for real success in China. What is one of the most important aspects of KFC's market leadership in China, as the largest chain restaurant? Liu is right there with the answer: toilets. Well, that is not the only reason, but it is a big one, and one that McDonald's used successfully in Taiwan. This down-to-earth observation is what makes Liu's book so good. Listen to my full review for more ([...].

Not a research book, but not a shallow journalistic stab either. Practical is how I would classify Liu's work, but with an emphasis on the MBA orientation. Topics are covered in standard business school ways, but the nuggets come out when Liu shows how KFC China had to break with Western assumptions, go against American HQ tendencies, and draw on a gang of Taiwan experienced managers to really make take KFC's core advantages (mainly chicken) take off in China.
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KFC China is undoubtedly one of the greatest F&B and business success stories of our time. The group succeeded in building China's largest restaurant chain and one of its most successful businesses in an environment characterized by sprawling geography, diverse palettes, undeveloped logistic networks, suppliers with inadequate scale, uneven urban development and income distribution, and fragmented regulatory administration amongst other challenges.

Telling this story, KFC in China is an insightful, well informed source for entrepreneurs interested in the restaurant business and in business in China overall. It contains useful information regarding KFC's local operations and strategy with regard to supplier management, HR development, real estate, local partnerships and JV's as well as general management. It is also one of the few English books on the restaurant business in China.
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