Premium Snack Bar Franchise
As soon as classes are over, Korean teens rush by twos or threes into snack bars in front of their schools to fill their empty stomachs. They order three servings of tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) and, to their surprise, they get a dish with more than three servings. The auntie who runs the store has given them extra tteokbokki, worried that the students might be too hungry. They pick up forks or chopsticks and enthusiastically stuff their mouths with tteokbokki, the corners of their mouths colored with red broth. Almost every Korean has a memory like this about their school days. Tteokbokki is one of the most common and popular Korean snacks. It costs little and is very filling.
One company has decided to elevate tteokbokki to a higher level. Youngdabang, a company with the ambition of becoming a global franchise brand, has taken action to introduce Korean food around the world, turning tteokbokki, a representative Korean traditional snack, into a premium food matching Hallyu (the Korean Wave).
Differentiation with Unusual Toppings
At Youngdabang, you can cut long sticks of pounded sticky rice into pieces to your liking. The rice cake is very chewy, and the tteokbokki dishes are made to please customers in terms of both flavor and chewing sensation. On top of that, customers can choose from a variety of healthy ingredients to have added to the dish.
The toppings of Youngdabang are very different from those of other tteokbokki franchises. Tteokbokki served with a whole squid and chadolbagi (beef brisket) is an entirely new dish. Also, you cannot find toppings such as big shrimp, chewy cheese, zigzag ramen, and chicken fillet anywhere else. The combination of these ingredients gave birth to the two flagship dishes of Youngdabang menu: Chadol-tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake with beef brisket) and Tongkeun-ojjang-tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake with big deep-fried squid).
Several kinds of deep-fried foods―such as basak-twigim mandu (crispy fried dumplings), noreut-goguma (yellow sweet potato), daldal-hobak (sweet pumpkin), and doldol-gimmari (seaweed roll)―can also be used as toppings. After you’ve finished the rice cakes, you can add fried rice―nalchial-bokkeumbap (fried rice with flying fish roe) or Eomma-ppadabap (rice fried in butter)―to the remaining sauce to have yet another dish. Furthermore, Youngdabang offers young pork cutlet, soup with hand-made fish cake on skewers made with fish cake from Busan, and Americano coffee using only the best quality coffee beans.
Advances in Korea and Abroad
Thanks to their unique toppings, Youngdabang is receiving very favorable evaluations from customers. They say that Youngdabang is a “place where you fall in love with the diversity of tteokbokki dishes” and a “place to go when you feel peckish in the middle of the night.” In Korea, Youngdabang has opened 22 franchisees, and 8 more franchise contracts have been signed. Overseas, the company will open stores in Chinese Lottemart at Shenyang Consul General, Dandong, Changchun, and Tianjin, and is also planning to advance to the US and Philippines. This year’s targets are to open a hundredth store in Korea and enter the markets of the US and Southeast Asia.
A Masterpiece Begins from Just a Slight Difference
Even though Youngdabang is getting positive feedback from consumers, it doesn’t want to settle on its present achievements. The company’s zeal is reflected in its efforts to create new, delicious, and unconventional types of tteokbokki. At least one new dish developed based on customers’ preferences is introduced every three months. The company’s basic notions are that “if customers say it’s too spicy, the dish is too spicy,” “we need to lead the change,” “every dish must be made with an honest heart,” and “a masterpiece begins from a slight difference.” According to a staff member, they always keep those principles in mind when greeting customers and attempt to transform themselves in order to become trend-setters.”
How to Enjoy Youngdabang’s Tteokbokki to the Fullest
Choose one of the two most popular dishes: chadol-tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake with beef brisket) or tongkeun-ojjang-tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake with big deep-fried squid). The former is popular for the nice balance of spicy and salty flavors in the sauce and chewiness of the savory rice cakes. The latter comes with a whole squid and is said to be a dish that you may have not tried yet but won’t stop by having it just once. Next, select some toppings according to your liking.
A big pan with tteokbokki and toppings will be served at your table. Cut the rice cake sticks and toppings into pieces of the size you prefer, and add them to the pan. The dish is served almost fully boiled, so you can start eating after boiling it just a little more. The broth, however, tastes better after you let it simmer for a while.
After finishing all the rice cakes, order some fried rice and mix it with the remaining broth. Americano coffee will refresh your mouth after the meal. If you come in the company of two people and split the costs so everyone pays KRW 20,000 to 30,000, you can have a filling dinner with a great variety of Youngdabang’s tteokbokki.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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