“A Local Halal Chinese Food Chain Making its Way to New York City”
Final – Research Paper
The purpose of my research has been to discover how my origin country food from Bangladesh can compete in the very competitive environment of New York City. My choice of study is a local establishment in Hillside Queens, called Sagar Chinese Restaurant. They specialize in Bangladeshi/Indian/Pakistani style of cooking, but in a typical Chinese cuisine and giving the authentic Asian setting. Sagar Chinese Restaurant, the first of the chain is located in Hillside Queens, opened three years ago and recently the owner opened an additional location in Bellrose Queens.
Projecting Vision, Mission & Goals
The name Sagar has been a known brand in the Hillside/Jamaica/Astoria communities for over fifteen with the ‘flagship’ store of true Bengali cuisine located on Hillside Avenue in the heart of where many settlers from Bangladesh people live. The supply and demand for Bengali/Indian/Pakistani food in this area has been great that people frequently rely on Sagar to their catered parties or for good take-out of authentic foods. Studies have been proven to show that special interest or mainstreaming ethnic foods could be tied to tourism as a product (McKercher, Bob, 2008), which to me draws people to the culture making breaking down the unknown things that people may be afraid of or feel is unusual, but rather helps introduce the culture as part of everyday life. Though Sagar has been fortune in their success mostly due to the demand of the people who migrated to this area are from the origin countries of the foods, the overall demand for more exotic foods is also contributes to their growing success (Kugel, S, 2008).
It was the following of the local people who made this family-owned business such a success where they then came up with the concept of opening a specialized Chinese eatery that would branch them out their known brand of traditional foods, to a modern approach in hopes to reach more youthful/hip Halal observers with Sagar Chinese Restaurant. According to Harris, not all ethnic or multicultural niche’s should be treated the same, but rather you have to do your due diligence to ensure the product your selling is something that would be adapted to your surrounding or your customers (Harris, Rebecca, 2005). Fortunately, to date the new establishment has been very successful in continuing the tradition of the original Sagar Restaurant. It was a risk upon their opening because truly they are the ONLY ones in the area who serve this type of food with the authentic Bengali/Indian/Pakistani style of spices and preparations in a Chinese setting.
Quickly after the Grand Opening of the Bellrose location in late 2011, this is less than five miles way from the Hillside original location. Sagar Chinese had already begun their next goals to branch out of their known comfort zone of the Queens community, even though the difference in the customers are very different between the two restaurants, which the Hillside location is connected to the legacy of the long standing known Sagar Restaurant (non-Chinese; traditional food) most of the clientele are Bengali, Indian or Pakistani so they received a more “automatic” response to the new Chinese place, where as the newer Bellrose location has less of the typical ethnic backgrounds as mentioned, but rather caters to a more rounded clientele consists of different ethnic backgrounds; the Bellrose location caters to an overall American based group. In these tough economic times, it was a risk for the son to branch out his safe Sagar Chinese Restaurant community to another location. As many of us have maybe seen in your areas closing of business maybe not able to make it because of lack of sales or maybe rents were too high so they were forced to close (Metropolitan Desk, 2009).