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Opening a Restaurant in China: What To Consider / 在中国开餐馆:需要考虑些什么


Author: Judith Ordaz Peña
Date: Oct. 28, 2013

Opening a Restaurant in China: What To Consider

Opening a Restaurant in China: What To Consider
Judith Ordaz Peña
June 16, 2013

Many foreigners who have spent time in China will tend to experience longing for familiar foods and environments. When this happens it is not uncommon to hear conversations about what an excellent idea and profitable business opening a restaurant would be. After all, you have identified the market demand and you are ready to fill it. After going through the same process, I decided to go ahead and open my very own Mexican restaurant in the city of Nanjing. This article is specific to my experience and is meant to be for reference only. If you are serious about pursuing this entrepreneurial route, assuming you have found reliable partners and can fund your project, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

First: Location.

We have heard this many times before: location, location, location, and it is true. Take enough time to find a place that is suitable to the type of restaurant that you plan on building. There are two options: to use a space that was formerly a restaurant or to use a space that was not used for a restaurant previously. The first option involves finding a place that is currently being used as a restaurant, or was previously used as a restaurant. This type of space will require a transfer fee (转让费), which means the current restaurant owner or previous restaurant owner will want a sum of money just to transfer the place over to you (some places not suited to be restaurants will also want to charge this fee). In the city of Nanjing the fees range from 130,000 to 250,000 RMB. Before paying such a large sum of money that you will never see again, you should ask pertinent questions, such as: Why is the current owner leaving? Are there any problems with the building? Were there any complaints from neighbors? Etc. The second option is to find a space that is not or was not a restaurant. In most cases, this will mean there is no transfer fee or if there is, then it will be at a significantly lower cost. What does this option mean? You will have to build and remodel. Depending on the size of the place and how fancy you want your design to be, professional decoration (装修) companies will usually give you a price per square meter (around 10,000 RMB per square meter), in addition to the materials needed. You will also have to pay for the actual design, but keep in mind that you can give the exact measurements to a designer anywhere in the world and they can send you the design. You have to take the time to check out several companies and compare prices. You can also attempt to hire a subcontractor who will bring his own workers to do the remodeling; these tend to be the same people who work for professional companies doing side jobs. While doing this can significantly reduce your costs (by up to 50% less), keep in mind that doing it through a company gives you the guarantee that no matter what problems you have with the construction/remodeling, the company will be responsible to return and fix any mistakes they made.

Other things to consider when you rent are: can there be open fire in the building? (Many building regulations don’t allow this, which forces you to only use electricity, which can reduce your profit significantly). Is there access to water? And if not, is there a way to get it? Is all the paperwork in order? This is extremely important so you can register your business without delays.

Second: Equipping Your Restaurant.

If you end up doing your own remodeling, you will have a lot more work to do. After the decoration company has finished their job, you will still have an empty restaurant. This means it is your responsibility to shop for tables, chairs, kitchen appliances, and the restaurant’s soft décor (软装). The best thing you can do is go to other restaurants, find what you are looking for, and ask them where they bought it. All cities have markets that sell everything for restaurants and hotels. In Nanjing it is Boqiao Market (南京博桥酒店用品有限公司) on #45 Jianning Road(http://www.njbqsc.com) . This is the place to find everything you need, from dishware, to kitchen appliances, to furniture. They can custom make the things you will need to fit your kitchen dimensions. Keep in mind you should go well in advance before the decoration is finished, since some things can take up to ten days to be delivered. When you visit these markets, do not be shy to bargain. If you are not experienced in bargaining, or if you are not proficient in Chinese, it is recommended you bring along someone who is. You can also have custom uniforms for your staff made here. They also take a week to ten days to finish. As for your restaurant’s soft décor, it depends on the type of restaurant you are building. I found myself bringing most of it from Mexico. Remember, the soft décor makes up about 30% of the restaurant’s total environment at the end of the day.

Third: Registering Your Restaurant.

This is the most important step. If you cannot register your restaurant, everything else you do is pretty much useless. To get the business permit (营业执照), you need your lease and the certificate of house property title (房产证) and take it to the Administration for Business and Commerce Office. They will also need to make sure your restaurant’s Chinese name has not been used before in the province (so hold off on printing anything, making signs, or getting a website before confirming this). You will also need a bank account to be associated with the business; at this point a personal bank account will suffice. You can also open a joint account with your business partner(s). After applying for the permit, which can take anywhere from a week to two weeks depending on how busy they are, your restaurant will be inspected to make sure it follows the safety and sanitary regulations required.

Fourth: Actual Business.

After going through the process of making sure your place is ready, there are still things to consider. These considerations involve hiring workers and giving them appropriate training. Again, it is important you take your time choosing your staff, trying to find workers through your own connections is recommended, but when this is not an option, you can place ads at your restaurant and on the internet.
As for your ingredients, you will find that the closest fruit, vegetable, and meat market already deliver to all the restaurants in the area. In the case of Nanjing, many restaurants in Ninghai Road, Shanghai Road, and Guangzhou Road get their ingredients from the market in Hankou Road under Suguo. They are happy to deliver to you daily, you can give them a call the night before with what you need, or just have a set number of things you need daily. You can also negotiate for a cheaper price with them.
Make sure you have a marketing plan, and have assigned a part of your budget to it. While it may seem that you have an original concept that everyone will like you have to keep in mind that in China you are not just competing against restaurants that are similar to yours, but you are also competing against any foreign restaurant in the area. There are only so many foreigners, and they have a set budget to eat every day, so it is important to also consider your Chinese clientele.

These are a few basic, but essential, things that should be helpful when considering opening a restaurant in China. Make sure you have a realistic business plan, be prepared for any setbacks, and whatever you budgeted your total investment cost to be, make sure to have at least an additional 30% as a cushion. When things get stuck along the way, gifting cartons of good cigarettes can help speed the process up.

My restaurant opens in less than a week and the things I mentioned above are things I wish I would have known from the beginning. If you decide opening a restaurant is for you, this advice might save you some time and avoid any headaches. Good luck!

Writer: Judith Ordaz Peña, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’13

作者:Judith Ordaz Peña
2013年10月28号

在中国开餐馆:需要考虑些什么

许多在中国有过一段生活经历的外国人会体验到对家乡食物和环境的渴望。当这种情况发生,听到关于在中国开餐馆的这个极棒的又有收益的商业想法就不足为奇了。毕竟,你已经对市场需求鉴定完毕并且你已经准备好了去满足它。在经历了于此相同的历程后,我决定开始行动,在南京开一家属于我自己的墨西哥餐厅。这篇文章是源于我非常独特的经历,并且仅限提供参考。如果你对追求创业道路很坚定,假设你已经找到了可信赖的合伙人,并且能为你自己的项目提供经费,那么这里就是一些必须谨记的建议。

第一点:选址

我们之前已经听说过:位置,位置,位置,这是真实的。花足够的时间来找一个适合你计划开办的餐馆类型的地点。有两种选择:使用一个原先就是餐馆的地方,或者就是一个原先不是餐馆的地方。第一个选择既包括现在和也包括曾经是餐馆的地方。这种地方需要一笔转让费,这意味着现在或过去的餐馆拥有者会需要一笔资金才会将餐馆转让给你(有些地方虽然不适合开餐馆也会问你索要这种费用)。在南京,这笔费用从13万元到25万元人民币不等。在你付出这笔未来再也不会看到的这一大笔资金之前,你应该问问这些相关的问题:为什么之前的所有者离开了?这个建筑有没有什么问题?附近的邻居有没有过什么抱怨?等等。
第二个选择是找一个原先或现在不是餐馆的地点。在大部分情况下不会有转让费,或者即使有,也只是非常低的费用。这个选择意味着什么?你不得不修建或重新改造。基于这个地方的大小和你打算装修的豪华程度,专业装修公司往往会给你一个每平方米多少价钱(大概一万元人民币)的报价,不包含所需材料。你还必须为设计付费,但记住,你可以将实际尺寸给世界上的任意一个设计师,然后他们把他们自己的作品发给你。你必须花时间比较不同的公司和它们的价钱。你也可以尝试雇佣分包商,他们会把自己的工人带来重新改造。这些人会与专业公司的工作人员相同。这样可以大大降低你的成本(最多50%),记住,如果通过专业公司,你会获得一种保障,那就是不论你在装修重建的过程中遇到什么问题,公司都会回来负责解决这些他们造成的问题。
另一件租房时要考虑的事情是:这座楼里是否允许明火?(许多建筑规章不允许这一项,这会迫使你只使用电器,那会很大程度上 降低你的利润)。有水供应吗?如果没有,有办法得到水吗?文件是不是都齐全?这对于你按期注册你的生意至关重要。

第二点:餐馆装修

如果你最后还是决定自己重新装修设计,你就将不得不做大量的工作。在装修公司完成了他们的任务之后,你得到的是一个空空如也的餐馆。这意味着购买桌椅厨具和餐馆的软装就成了你的任务。最好的方式就是走到其他餐馆,去发现你需要找寻的东西,然后问问他们在哪里可以买到它们。所有城市都有销售餐馆和宾馆所有器具的市场。在南京的是南京博桥酒店用品有限公司,位于建宁路45号(http://www.njbqsc.com)。在这里可以找到每一件需要的物品,容器,厨具,到家具。他们可以依据你的厨房需要来定制。记住,你应该比装修结束的时间提早很多就去,因为一些东西需要到十天才能运输到地点。当你去这些市场时,不要因为不好意思或中文不好而不去讨价,建议你带着中国人一起去。在这里还可以制作员工制服。他们也需要一周到十天左右完成。餐厅的软装取决于餐馆的类型。从我自己的例子来看,我大多数的软装都是从墨西哥带来的。记住,不论怎么说,软装占了餐馆整体环境的大约30%。

第三点:餐馆注册

这是最重要的一步。如果你不能注册餐馆,那么其他所有的事都没有意义。为了得到营业执照,你需要契约和房产证,并且把它们带到商务管理办公室。他们需要确定此中国餐馆的名称在省内没有被使用过(所以,不要在此之前急于印制任何东西,作标签,或建立网站)。你也需要和此业务关联的银行账户;此情况下,个人银行账户就足够了。你还可以与合伙人合开一个账户。在约一周到两周时间得到许可后,这个时间取决于他们的工作繁忙程度,你的餐馆将会被检查,以确信它遵守了安全和卫生规章要求。

第四点:商业实践

在通过了一系列过程以确定你的餐馆准备完毕后,仍然有许多事情需要考虑。这些考虑包含,雇佣员工,并且给予他们适当的培训。同样,花时间仔细选择员工很重要,建议通过自己的人脉找到工人,但是当不能实现时,你可以在餐馆和互联网上投放广告。
对于原料来说,你会找到最近的已经运送水果,蔬菜,肉类到所有餐馆的市场。以南京为例,许多在宁海路,上海路和广州路的餐馆都从苏果下面的汉口路市场得到原料。他们很愿意每天给你供应,你可以前一天晚上给他们打个电话,告诉他们你的需求,或者只需要定下来你每天需要的一些货品。你也可以和他们商定一个更低的价格。
确定有一个市场计划,并把一部分的预算投入其中。也许每个人看起来都赞同你的初始思路,你必须记住,在中国你不仅仅是在与和你类似的餐馆竞争,你也在与任意一家此区域的外国餐馆竞争。外国人就这么多,而且他们每天定下了饮食预算,所以考虑你的中国顾客非常重要。
这是在中国考虑开餐馆的一些基本的,但非常核心的东西,应该会非常有帮助。确定你有一个切合实际的计划。为挫折做好准备,而且不论你的总投资预算是多少,确定留下至少30%的调整空间,当事情中途被卡住,适时的送礼,例如好一点的香烟有助于加快进程。
我的餐馆将在一周以内开业。以上提到的是我非常希望自己在最初时就本来能够学到的知识。如果你打算为你自己开一家餐馆,这个建议可能可以节省一些时间,并避免一些头疼的事情发生。祝你好运!

作者:Judith Ordaz Peña,中美中心国际关系硕士2013
译者:柴溯媛, 中美中心国际关系硕士2013

Author: Judith Ordaz Peña
Date: Oct. 28, 2013

Opening a Restaurant in China: What To Consider

Many foreigners who have spent time in China will tend to experience longing for familiar foods and environments. When this happens it is not uncommon to hear conversations about what an excellent idea and profitable business opening a restaurant would be. After all, you have identified the market demand and you are ready to fill it. After going through the same process, I decided to go ahead and open my very own Mexican restaurant in the city of Nanjing. This article is specific to my experience and is meant to be for reference only. If you are serious about pursuing this entrepreneurial route, assuming you have found reliable partners and can fund your project, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

First: Location.

We have heard this many times before: location, location, location, and it is true. Take enough time to find a place that is suitable to the type of restaurant that you plan on building. There are two options: to use a space that was formerly a restaurant or to use a space that was not used for a restaurant previously. The first option involves finding a place that is currently being used as a restaurant, or was previously used as a restaurant. This type of space will require a transfer fee (转让费), which means the current restaurant owner or previous restaurant owner will want a sum of money just to transfer the place over to you (some places not suited to be restaurants will also want to charge this fee). In the city of Nanjing the fees range from 130,000 to 250,000 RMB. Before paying such a large sum of money that you will never see again, you should ask pertinent questions, such as: Why is the current owner leaving? Are there any problems with the building? Were there any complaints from neighbors? Etc. The second option is to find a space that is not or was not a restaurant. In most cases, this will mean there is no transfer fee or if there is, then it will be at a significantly lower cost. What does this option mean? You will have to build and remodel. Depending on the size of the place and how fancy you want your design to be, professional decoration (装修) companies will usually give you a price per square meter (around 10,000 RMB per square meter), in addition to the materials needed. You will also have to pay for the actual design, but keep in mind that you can give the exact measurements to a designer anywhere in the world and they can send you the design. You have to take the time to check out several companies and compare prices. You can also attempt to hire a subcontractor who will bring his own workers to do the remodeling; these tend to be the same people who work for professional companies doing side jobs. While doing this can significantly reduce your costs (by up to 50% less), keep in mind that doing it through a company gives you the guarantee that no matter what problems you have with the construction/remodeling, the company will be responsible to return and fix any mistakes they made.

Other things to consider when you rent are: can there be open fire in the building? (Many building regulations don’t allow this, which forces you to only use electricity, which can reduce your profit significantly). Is there access to water? And if not, is there a way to get it? Is all the paperwork in order? This is extremely important so you can register your business without delays.

Second: Equipping Your Restaurant.

If you end up doing your own remodeling, you will have a lot more work to do. After the decoration company has finished their job, you will still have an empty restaurant. This means it is your responsibility to shop for tables, chairs, kitchen appliances, and the restaurant’s soft décor (软装). The best thing you can do is go to other restaurants, find what you are looking for, and ask them where they bought it. All cities have markets that sell everything for restaurants and hotels. In Nanjing it is Boqiao Market (南京博桥酒店用品有限公司) on #45 Jianning Road(http://www.njbqsc.com) . This is the place to find everything you need, from dishware, to kitchen appliances, to furniture. They can custom make the things you will need to fit your kitchen dimensions. Keep in mind you should go well in advance before the decoration is finished, since some things can take up to ten days to be delivered. When you visit these markets, do not be shy to bargain. If you are not experienced in bargaining, or if you are not proficient in Chinese, it is recommended you bring along someone who is. You can also have custom uniforms for your staff made here. They also take a week to ten days to finish. As for your restaurant’s soft décor, it depends on the type of restaurant you are building. I found myself bringing most of it from Mexico. Remember, the soft décor makes up about 30% of the restaurant’s total environment at the end of the day.

Third: Registering Your Restaurant.

This is the most important step. If you cannot register your restaurant, everything else you do is pretty much useless. To get the business permit (营业执照), you need your lease and the certificate of house property title (房产证) and take it to the Administration for Business and Commerce Office. They will also need to make sure your restaurant’s Chinese name has not been used before in the province (so hold off on printing anything, making signs, or getting a website before confirming this). You will also need a bank account to be associated with the business; at this point a personal bank account will suffice. You can also open a joint account with your business partner(s). After applying for the permit, which can take anywhere from a week to two weeks depending on how busy they are, your restaurant will be inspected to make sure it follows the safety and sanitary regulations required.

Fourth: Actual Business.

After going through the process of making sure your place is ready, there are still things to consider. These considerations involve hiring workers and giving them appropriate training. Again, it is important you take your time choosing your staff, trying to find workers through your own connections is recommended, but when this is not an option, you can place ads at your restaurant and on the internet.
As for your ingredients, you will find that the closest fruit, vegetable, and meat market already deliver to all the restaurants in the area. In the case of Nanjing, many restaurants in Ninghai Road, Shanghai Road, and Guangzhou Road get their ingredients from the market in Hankou Road under Suguo. They are happy to deliver to you daily, you can give them a call the night before with what you need, or just have a set number of things you need daily. You can also negotiate for a cheaper price with them.
Make sure you have a marketing plan, and have assigned a part of your budget to it. While it may seem that you have an original concept that everyone will like you have to keep in mind that in China you are not just competing against restaurants that are similar to yours, but you are also competing against any foreign restaurant in the area. There are only so many foreigners, and they have a set budget to eat every day, so it is important to also consider your Chinese clientele.

These are a few basic, but essential, things that should be helpful when considering opening a restaurant in China. Make sure you have a realistic business plan, be prepared for any setbacks, and whatever you budgeted your total investment cost to be, make sure to have at least an additional 30% as a cushion. When things get stuck along the way, gifting cartons of good cigarettes can help speed the process up.

My restaurant opens in less than a week and the things I mentioned above are things I wish I would have known from the beginning. If you decide opening a restaurant is for you, this advice might save you some time and avoid any headaches. Good luck!

Writer: Judith Ordaz Peña, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’13


作者:Judith Ordaz Peña
2013年10月28号

中国网络探微

许多在中国有过一段生活经历的外国人会体验到对家乡食物和环境的渴望。当这种情况发生,听到关于在中国开餐馆的这个极棒的又有收益的商业想法就不足为奇了。毕竟,你已经对市场需求鉴定完毕并且你已经准备好了去满足它。在经历了于此相同的历程后,我决定开始行动,在南京开一家属于我自己的墨西哥餐厅。这篇文章是源于我非常独特的经历,并且仅限提供参考。如果你对追求创业道路很坚定,假设你已经找到了可信赖的合伙人,并且能为你自己的项目提供经费,那么这里就是一些必须谨记的建议。

第一点:选址

我们之前已经听说过:位置,位置,位置,这是真实的。花足够的时间来找一个适合你计划开办的餐馆类型的地点。有两种选择:使用一个原先就是餐馆的地方,或者就是一个原先不是餐馆的地方。第一个选择既包括现在和也包括曾经是餐馆的地方。这种地方需要一笔转让费,这意味着现在或过去的餐馆拥有者会需要一笔资金才会将餐馆转让给你(有些地方虽然不适合开餐馆也会问你索要这种费用)。在南京,这笔费用从13万元到25万元人民币不等。在你付出这笔未来再也不会看到的这一大笔资金之前,你应该问问这些相关的问题:为什么之前的所有者离开了?这个建筑有没有什么问题?附近的邻居有没有过什么抱怨?等等。
第二个选择是找一个原先或现在不是餐馆的地点。在大部分情况下不会有转让费,或者即使有,也只是非常低的费用。这个选择意味着什么?你不得不修建或重新改造。基于这个地方的大小和你打算装修的豪华程度,专业装修公司往往会给你一个每平方米多少价钱(大概一万元人民币)的报价,不包含所需材料。你还必须为设计付费,但记住,你可以将实际尺寸给世界上的任意一个设计师,然后他们把他们自己的作品发给你。你必须花时间比较不同的公司和它们的价钱。你也可以尝试雇佣分包商,他们会把自己的工人带来重新改造。这些人会与专业公司的工作人员相同。这样可以大大降低你的成本(最多50%),记住,如果通过专业公司,你会获得一种保障,那就是不论你在装修重建的过程中遇到什么问题,公司都会回来负责解决这些他们造成的问题。
另一件租房时要考虑的事情是:这座楼里是否允许明火?(许多建筑规章不允许这一项,这会迫使你只使用电器,那会很大程度上 降低你的利润)。有水供应吗?如果没有,有办法得到水吗?文件是不是都齐全?这对于你按期注册你的生意至关重要。

第二点:餐馆装修

如果你最后还是决定自己重新装修设计,你就将不得不做大量的工作。在装修公司完成了他们的任务之后,你得到的是一个空空如也的餐馆。这意味着购买桌椅厨具和餐馆的软装就成了你的任务。最好的方式就是走到其他餐馆,去发现你需要找寻的东西,然后问问他们在哪里可以买到它们。所有城市都有销售餐馆和宾馆所有器具的市场。在南京的是南京博桥酒店用品有限公司,位于建宁路45号(http://www.njbqsc.com)。在这里可以找到每一件需要的物品,容器,厨具,到家具。他们可以依据你的厨房需要来定制。记住,你应该比装修结束的时间提早很多就去,因为一些东西需要到十天才能运输到地点。当你去这些市场时,不要因为不好意思或中文不好而不去讨价,建议你带着中国人一起去。在这里还可以制作员工制服。他们也需要一周到十天左右完成。餐厅的软装取决于餐馆的类型。从我自己的例子来看,我大多数的软装都是从墨西哥带来的。记住,不论怎么说,软装占了餐馆整体环境的大约30%。

第三点:餐馆注册

这是最重要的一步。如果你不能注册餐馆,那么其他所有的事都没有意义。为了得到营业执照,你需要契约和房产证,并且把它们带到商务管理办公室。他们需要确定此中国餐馆的名称在省内没有被使用过(所以,不要在此之前急于印制任何东西,作标签,或建立网站)。你也需要和此业务关联的银行账户;此情况下,个人银行账户就足够了。你还可以与合伙人合开一个账户。在约一周到两周时间得到许可后,这个时间取决于他们的工作繁忙程度,你的餐馆将会被检查,以确信它遵守了安全和卫生规章要求。

第四点:商业实践

在通过了一系列过程以确定你的餐馆准备完毕后,仍然有许多事情需要考虑。这些考虑包含,雇佣员工,并且给予他们适当的培训。同样,花时间仔细选择员工很重要,建议通过自己的人脉找到工人,但是当不能实现时,你可以在餐馆和互联网上投放广告。
对于原料来说,你会找到最近的已经运送水果,蔬菜,肉类到所有餐馆的市场。以南京为例,许多在宁海路,上海路和广州路的餐馆都从苏果下面的汉口路市场得到原料。他们很愿意每天给你供应,你可以前一天晚上给他们打个电话,告诉他们你的需求,或者只需要定下来你每天需要的一些货品。你也可以和他们商定一个更低的价格。
确定有一个市场计划,并把一部分的预算投入其中。也许每个人看起来都赞同你的初始思路,你必须记住,在中国你不仅仅是在与和你类似的餐馆竞争,你也在与任意一家此区域的外国餐馆竞争。外国人就这么多,而且他们每天定下了饮食预算,所以考虑你的中国顾客非常重要。
这是在中国考虑开餐馆的一些基本的,但非常核心的东西,应该会非常有帮助。确定你有一个切合实际的计划。为挫折做好准备,而且不论你的总投资预算是多少,确定留下至少30%的调整空间,当事情中途被卡住,适时的送礼,例如好一点的香烟有助于加快进程。
我的餐馆将在一周以内开业。以上提到的是我非常希望自己在最初时就本来能够学到的知识。如果你打算为你自己开一家餐馆,这个建议可能可以节省一些时间,并避免一些头疼的事情发生。祝你好运!

作者:Judith Ordaz Peña,中美中心国际关系硕士2013
译者:柴溯媛, 中美中心国际关系硕士2013

One comment to Opening a Restaurant in China: What To Consider / 在中国开餐馆:需要考虑些什么

  • hugpa104@gmail.com  says:

    Fantastic article – very informative and well written.

    My wife and I are actually trying to open a New Zealand restaurant in Nanjing at the moment and would dearly appreciate it if we could be put in contact with the writer to ask her some more questions.

    Regards

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