To Koreans, chicken is one of the most popular foods to have late at night. It evokes their memories of the good old days: in the 1980s, when a father received his monthly salary, he would buy chicken on his way home, and the whole family would huddle together to eat the chicken while it was still hot. Korean chicken is also popular overseas. In the TV drama A Man from Another Star, the lead actress Jeon Ji-hyun famously said, “On a snowy day, chi-maek (chicken and beer) is best.” The line caught on with viewers in China and Southeast Asia sparking their interest in the Korean chicken meal.
Armed with the key to a good chicken dish—a supply of chicken that is soft yet pleasantly chewy—BHC has set out to win the chicken market with its Bbu-linkle and Macho-King dishes. The franchiser cast Jeon Ji-hyun to be the BHC model to maximize the synergy effect of her being a top Hallyu star and the chi-maek queen at the same time. BHC has also revealed its aspiration to go beyond Korea and conquer overseas markets.
Bbu-linkle and Macho-King Captivate Younger Consumers
The flagship dishes of BHC are Bbu-linkle and Macho-King. The former is made by frying chicken lightly coated with powder and then sprinkling a magic seasoning containing blue cheese, cheddar cheese, onions, and garlic on top. Customers can dip the chicken pieces in a sweet-and-sour sauce which brings together Emmental cheese and yogurt. The dish sold 6.6 million servings in the first year after its release, recording KRW 112.2 billion in sales. It is still steadily popular with female consumers in their teens and 20s. The sweet and salty Macho-King has emerged as the favorite of male consumers in their 20s and 30s. It is made by deep-frying chicken and then coating it in a blended sauce that contains aged soy sauce and honey. Its spiciness comes from the topping which uses red pepper, Cheongyang chili pepper (which abounds with capsaicin), black sesame (famous as an elixir of life), leek (a remedy to recover from fatigue), and crushed garlic (a nutritious tonic). The dish goes well with beer and is said to have contributed to the spread of chi-maek culture.
Using High-Quality Ingredients in Consideration of Customers’ Health and Dishes’ Flavor
The foundation for the success of these two dishes lies in the use of top-grade chicken and high-oleic sunflower oil. BHC works only with the Golden Zone chicken of the highest quality (grade 10, weight 950 g–1050 g). The Grade 10 chicken is juicy and has a soft and chewy texture, which gives it an excellent flavor. High-oleic sunflower oil contains three times the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids contained in common sunflower oil. The acids have an ability to raise the level of good cholesterol while reducing the level of bad cholesterol. Moreover, high-oleic sunflower oil is low in saturated fatty acids—which are the main cause of gaining body fat— generates few trans fats, and is richer in vitamin E content than other vegetable oils, making it effective in preventing aging and cardiovascular disorders.
Determined to Cross Korea’s Boundaries to Conquer the Overseas Market
BHC is expecting this year’s sales to reach KRW 240 billion, which is a 30-percent increase from last year. By opening 200 new stores, it is aiming to operate a total of 1,400 franchisees—a 17-percent increase compared to 2015. To realize this ambition, BHC is actively pursuing product innovation, stressing inter-department collaboration, and developing win-win strategies in cooperation with its franchisees. It is also expanding and moving its food factories to ensure a smoother supply of ingredients. In addition, the franchiser plans to take over several newly emerged brands.
Based on its achievements in the domestic market, BHC aspires to advance overseas. Currently, it has no overseas operations but has started making cooperation proposals and negotiations with potential partners in China and Southeast Asia. The company plans to enter regional markets later this year, after conducting thorough research and analysis.
# Additional Information/ A Premium Korean Beef Restaurant, CHANGGO43
CHANGGO43 gained fame by serving ripened Korean beef, torn along the grain with chisel, in 4.3-kg cast iron pots.
One of the most popular dishes of the restaurant is Premium Marbling Beef Rib Eye. Its texture is soft and tender and the meat proteins along with the marbling create an excellent flavor. Another popular dish is CHANGGO Special Beef Tenderloin. This rare cut of beef (just 2 to 3 percent of a cow) is good for grilling. CHANGGO special, which consists of beef rib eye, beef tenderloin, and beef sirloin, also attracts many customers.
Several dishes on the menu are customized for office workers. Citron Beef Tartare Bibimbap is made with sweet citron, tender beef tartare, beet, radish and other sprouts. Royal Seaweed Soup exudes a delicious scent and a flavor of the sea. Royal Spicy Beef Soup features a thick meat broth cooked with Korean beef brisket.
Currently, CHANGGO43 is running 8 restaurants around the country. Some of them have adopted the concept of a “place to do business.” They set up large, separate spaces for office workers to hold a small-scale seminar or meeting when a meeting room at their office is unavailable or they are pressed for time. On prior notice, they can even use a beam projector.
CHANGGO43 is a part of BHC enterprises. The company strives to differentiate the brand from rivals by creating the novel concept of a “place to do business” and raising awareness of Korean beef among foreigners who come to Korea for business. BHC aims to make its restaurants a place one wants to visit again and again.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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