After a few years working with F&B Managers, Chefs, Restaurant owners,... we realized that there are really big gaps and differences between communities, sizes and vision of course. This was not really a big surprise in itself.
What actually was a surprise, though, was that we could easily take one thing from one successful group and bring it to another group to help him thrive too. And after several months of discussions and studies, we thought we could do things differently.
Over the past 2 years, we had the chance to collaborate with bigger entrepreneurial F&B groups who are well established in China, as well as bigger Food or Beverages Corporations. We were stunned on how easy it was to operate multiple venues, launch new concepts, open a new location, hire and move staff around and really use everything they had in the backend to organically grow and expand. But that was mostly a “top-to-bottom” approach and that way only comes with some kind of comfortable financial situation.
But how independent "small" F&B business owners, with good brand equity and a community of faithfull consumers, can generate enough margin in order to surround themselves with all the resources needed to manage their:
- digital presence on Chinese social media such as WeChat, Weibo, Douyin (TikTok), Instagram, Facebook,...
- marketing and PR with local media and KOLs
- online delivery platforms such as Eleme, Meituan, ...
- cloud kitchens solutions
- but also design, menus, recipes etc...
As usual, at NextStep Studio, we like to go from the problem and build the solution. We gathered 15 F&B owners (who are managing 1 to 5 locations in Shanghai), listed their priorities and defined an operational model.
NextStep Studio decided to offer a solution from "bottom-to-top" by identifying suitable resources and centralizing the management, in order then to split the cost and mutualize the solution as well as a communication strategy. We took it from multiple business owners, who were having immediate needs in order to come and plug the solution they were looking for.
The most important point is that we are building a hospitality group where members are sharing needs, interests, and visions. They are building the solution they need and the F&B Support Solution was only enabled by NextStep Studio who is making it possible by driving the group.
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