What does it take to open a restaurant in the middle of China? How do you test to see if Chinese people would even like Mexican food? And even more importantly, how do you train and retain local employees as an expat entrepreneur?
These are the kinds of questions I ask Igor Vronkin, an American expat entrepreneur who has established a successful Mexican food restaurant in the middle of Chengdu, China.
The restaurant “Good Good” was started a couple years ago by two Americans in Chengdu, China. Initially, it was done on the back of a three-wheeled motorcycle driving around serving tacos. Now, they have two very nice-looking store fronts in the city.
I’ve always had an interest in opening a restaurant or coffee shop but have been pushed away by the fact that it would anchor me down to one location for a long period of time. So with that in mind, I asked Igor a number of questions about his business including:
- Do they cater more to the expat customer or the Chinese (local) customer?
- How did they set up both their WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Entity) and their Joint Venture?
- How do they hire and retain local employees?
- What role does food delivery play in their business?
Igor was gracious to share without reservation and I think you’ll enjoy hearing from his experience. Oh, and if you’re ever in Chengdu, give their restaurant a try. I’m sure you’ll love it like I did!
*Photo courtesy Chengdu Living