- 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: #1,105,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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KFC in China: Secret Recipe for Success 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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. Liu and his Taiwanese colleagues did their homework and understood the China context better than competitors. Given the mixed feelings of admiration and resentment that average Chinese have about Western brands active in China, this positioning is brilliant. It is also a word play on Chinese government economic policy. Meanwhile, Liu accurately describes McDonald's emphasizing individualism and self-expression in marketing communications, which obviously does not resonate as well in China.
Warren K. Liu also includes some interesting sections in his book regarding the challenges of dealing with Chinese joint venture (JV) partners that will be of interest to many readers. KFC China's overall strategy of achieving rapid growth economies of scale, such that they now have twice as many restaurants as McDonald's China, is also extremely fascinating. Finally, other aspects mentioned including Chinese people preferring pork to chicken and all other meats, the importance of clean toilets in KFC's success, KFC's product localization in China, and how to use crises as opportunities to expand your business in China, are all compelling.
To me however, the key point of interest in this case study is how KFC successfully positioned themselves as being "more Chinese" than McDonald's and how that has lead to KFC's continued market dominance.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
'This book is very impressive in a way how it present the business strategies in understandable way. I am a chemistry student.