World in love with Lanzhou beef noo­dles

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 13 Business -

Jin­weide Beef Noo­dles’ over­seas suc­cess is not just be­cause its main prod­uct boasts great taste; its train­ing cen­ters abroad have also played a key part.

In a sense, Jin­weide has in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized the art of mak­ing Lanzhou noo­dles. Now, it wants to have the world’s noo­dles mar­ket eat­ing out of its hand.

From 2010 till now, the com­pany has trained over 30,000 peo­ple in mak­ing Lanzhou noo­dles to ex­act­ing stan­dards. And noo­dle-lovers in China and 40 coun­tries, in­clud­ing South Ko­rea, Ja­pan, France, the United States, Sin­ga­pore and Canada, are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

Jin­weide is the first Chi­nese en­ter­prise to im­part train­ing in the prepa­ra­tion of Lanzhou noo­dles. Its train­ing cen­ters can ed­u­cate 4,000 peo­ple an­nu­ally world­wide.

“We have es­tab­lished over­seas stores and train­ing cen­ters. At our train­ing cen­ters, em­ploy­ees learn not only Lanzhou noo­dle prepa­ra­tion but busi­ness man­age­ment. Af­ter train­ing, they re­turn to our stores and run the busi­ness,” said Liang Shun­jian, pres­i­dent of Jin­weide.

It was in 2006 that Liang re­al­ized the so-called noo­dle-mas­ters knew how to make noo­dles but had no clue about mak­ing soup and beef. Nor were they adept at busi­ness man­age­ment.

So, he started Lanzhou noo­dles train­ing. Peo­ple flew in from France, Ja­pan and South Ko­rea to Lanzhou for train­ing.

With the num­ber of stu­dents in­creas­ing, Liang opened his first train­ing cen­ter in China. He even pub­lished a book — A Guide to Mak­ing Lanzhou Noo­dles — to in­tro­duce his method and recipe.

Later, Liang set up Lanzhou noo­dle stores. He called them Jin­weide Beef Noo­dles, which opened in China and more than 40 other coun­tries.

Over 30,000 em­ploy­ees trained by Liang’s train­ing cen­ters are now set­tled around the world, de­voted to the chal­lenge of mak­ing Lanzhou noo­dles glob­ally fa­mous.

In 2009, Liang went to Ja­pan for a cul­tural ex­change pro­gram re­lat­ing to Lanzhou noo­dles. He taught Ja­panese stu­dents how to make Lanzhou noo­dles. Af­ter win­ning their ad­mi­ra­tion and hearts with his crafts­man­ship, he pro­ceeded to the US in 2013.

There, he in­no­vated by mak­ing Lanzhou noo­dles us­ing Amer­i­can flour. Their unique taste floored the US con­sumers. Rave re­views fol­lowed.

Ren Fukang, deputy di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the De­part­ment of Com­merce of Gansu province, noted that Jin­weide’s go­ing-global strat­egy shows that Lanzhou noo­dles can spawn an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

“The brand should be cul­ti­vated. An ecosys­tem en­com­pass­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment, tech­ni­cal train­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing should be es­tab­lished. The com­pany should grasp op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and ac­cel­er­ate the pace of its go­ing-global moves. Lanzhou noo­dles should be­come a ‘call­ing card’ for Lanzhou,” Ren said.

Cur­rently, in BRI-re­lated mar­kets, in­gre­di­ents like car­damom, fen­nel, shal­lot and onion are sourced lo­cally, so the cost tends to be lower, giv­ing Jin­weide a strong com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage in pric­ing.

The ac­tual process of mak­ing Lanzhou noo­dles is quite sim­ple, Liang said. Hence, the com­pany’s plants can out­put four to five bowls per minute. In ad­di­tion, Lanzhou noo­dles are non-fried, which gives them a fresh taste that can’t be found in fast food like piz­zas and burg­ers in Europe and the US.

The com­pany does not use any stan­dard­ized way of pre­sent­ing or gar­nish­ing pre­pared noo­dles. This gives stores across ge­ogra­phies the free­dom to cus­tom­ize pre­sen­ta­tion to suit lo­cal aes­thetic habits.

Ev­ery year, the com­pany of­fers free train­ing to a for­eign stu­dent se­lected from the uni­ver­si­ties in Lanzhou. The 2018 schol­ar­ship win­ner is a fe­male stu­dent from Nige­ria who re­turned to her home­land af­ter the train­ing to open a Lanzhou noo­dles store.

The com­pany has 200 branches at home and abroad. An­nual sales rev­enue for each store ex­ceeded 10 mil­lion yuan ($1.45 mil­lion) on av­er­age, with to­tal rev­enues grow­ing by over 50 per­cent on-year. The com­pany is now val­ued at 312 mil­lion yuan.

It has five branches in Aus­tralia. The one in Mel­bourne oc­cu­pies 150 square me­ters, and the daily sales rev­enue reaches an equiv­a­lent of 60,000 yuan. A bowl of Lanzhou noo­dles here costs an equiv­a­lent of around 60 yuan. The wage bill tends to be the big­gest cost, which is sought to be off­set with low pro­duc­tion costs.

The com­pany is dis­cussing with the Uni­ver­sity of Can­berra to set up Asian cui­sine pro­grams.

On Jan 25, it launched the In­ter­na­tional Lanzhou Beef Noo­dle League for the BRI par­tic­i­pant coun­tries, to pro­mote Lanzhou noo­dles across the globe.

“Nice aroma lasts long. The taste of Lanzhou noo­dles is not only the pride of peo­ple from Lanzhou but also the fa­vorite of peo­ple around the globe. My whole life is de­voted to mak­ing Lanzhou noo­dles glob­ally fa­mous. I hope more and more peo­ple can sa­vor this de­li­cious food and ex­pe­ri­ence its magic,” Liang said.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhengyi­[email protected]­

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