Hey, everyone, and welcome to Let's Do Shots today, we'll be talking about how China fell in love with KFC and American Fast Food Company. Not only is KFC China's biggest restaurant chain with 5000 plus outlets, China is also the country where KFC has most locations ahead of U.S. and about ten times more than India. So let's do shots.
Just like Andell opened its economy in 1991 and welcomed foreign brands. China did the same in the 1980s and one of the brands that came in and set up shop was KFC. Interestingly, their first outlet was strategically placed in the tourist location in Beijing. This ensured that they got foot traffic from foreigners who were already aware of the brand when compared to brands like McDonald's and Burger King gifts, he had an intrinsic advantage in the Chinese market. The Chinese prefer chicken over the meat forms like beef.
KFC is all about their chicken, whereas McDonald's and Burger King relied on their beef offerings. So when these foreign fast food brands set up shop in China, they were more attracted to the brand, which is serving them a meat of their choice. Moreover, in the US, CFC's positioning is that of a fast food restaurant, a place where you can get cheap food, many times used as a quick stop for a quick meal. In China, however, KFC was an aspirational place to go to.
Much like India, China has a huge concept of street food. So when a foreign brand offered their products in a sit down restaurant at porked friendly prices, the Chinese love the concept. This was also a time when the locals placed a high amount of trust in anything that was Western, especially at a time when counterfeit Chinese goods had already become notorious around the world. However, the biggest game changer for KFC was their readiness to modify their menu to adjust to the Chinese tastes and preferences.
At the time, the whole concept of American fast food restaurants was that they wanted to expand with the limited menu and a standardised recipe. The idea was that you would get the same burger whether you were eating it in Manhattan or Mumbai. But when KFC entered China, they realized that they could not continue to do that debt, so they adjusted their menu to a Chinese flavors. This is exactly what McDonald's did in India with the iconic McKlusky. They realized that a large part of our population is vegetarian, so they needed a vegetarian offering something which is almost unheard of in many of their locations around the world.
Back to China, so he added a side of corn instead of French fries for the Chinese population. They added rice to the menu. A staple in China innovated with menu items like sushi, Fritos. They added Congi, a traditional Chinese dish, to their menu, which is basically rice porridge. And many locals prefer KFC scungy over homemade ones. That's like if your neighbor had McDonald's started selling illuminator and you prefer the recipe over the one meal at your home, it's crazy.
In the late 90s, China had a huge pop culture revolution and KFC ensured it got those pop culture stars and celebrities and music groups to be part of their marketing. Eventually, when KFC saw that Chinese preferences are moving towards more healthy choices, they launched Kaypro, a luxurious, healthy version of KFC. People go and eat salads dead and the green juice at KFC. It's insane. Now moving on to McDonald's, McDonald's to adjusted their menu and food products for the Chinese markets, but they're still playing catch up to KFC, that two reasons for that.
Then McDonald's enter China. They focused only on four or five bigger cities and set up shop that because people in those big cities would have more spending power.
KFC, however, had a long term plan and they decided to expand rapidly in smaller towns and cities instead to this rapid expansion. They were able to create scale and in turn they were able to reduce cost. This cost reduction allowed them to spend more on advertising and marketing. By being the first ones to expand to these smaller towns gifts, you also got the most prime locations, which is a big deal because unlike big cities, there are only two or three prime locations in a smaller town.
And that two back in the 90s, KFC was also able to ride on the wave of excitement that each town had every time they opened a new one, because KFC was going to be the first experience of dining in a Western fast food joint for them.
Further, China's one child policy was also a deterrent to McDonald's because with the Happy Meals and Happy Toys, the position themselves as a restaurant for children.
Gives his love story with China's surely unique, but it is nothing compared to what they did in Japan, gives you figured out a way to make themselves a Christmas tradition in Japan? Yes, Christmas, no. Christmas is complete in Japan without a bowl of KFC chicken. The story is an episode in itself, and I'll be talking about it in the next shot we do together. So make sure you tune in. Until then, let's do shots at.