Shaxian delicacies taste global success
However, despite the success story, challenges have emerged in recent years.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Shaxian Snacks eateries were often run by family members, who spent a lot of time and energy preparing the food and serving it. The heavy workload meant that the quality of service was inconsistent.
Zhang Xin, deputy director of the Shaxian Delicacies Industry Development Center, said the traditional husband-and-wife food stall no longer meets customers' needs amid market competition and rising labor costs. "Problems, including poor sanitary conditions and brand management, are putting the brakes on the industry's development," Zhang added.
Fewer than 2,000 restaurants nationwide are authorized to use the Shaxian Snacks brand with the red Pac-Man-like logo, Zhang said, and the local government wants to improve the brand by setting up supply chains to distribute semi-finished products to franchises.
"A unified supply chain system is best for the franchises. To build a brand, it is important to set standards from the very beginning," he said.
The advantages of standardized management for food chains are obvious, as this helps reduce operating costs by providing unified supply chains, frees owners from heavy workloads and brings them more revenue, according to Zhang.
"Our goal is to turn the owners of small businesses into managers, making it much easier for them to earn money," Zhang said. He added that while promoting franchised stores, the center will also upgrade supply chains through apps.