Pushing Customer Services to the Extreme
----A Case Study of Haidilao Hotpot
Many Western visitors to China complain that service industries such restaurants and hotels are not up to international standards. Major problems have been lack of proper attitude on the part of business owners and management. After years of experiences as an owner and customer of many service-oriented business worldwide, I have finally found a restaurant chain in China which seems to be doing all the right things and avoid most of the pitfalls plaguing others. I cannot say the same thing about McDonald's, Ritz-Calton Hotels, Startbucks, Fedex, or Taco Bell, just to name a few.
The business I would like to share with you is called HaiDiLao Hotpot, which has 37 hotpot restaurants with annual revenue exceeding 300 million CNY (approximately 44 million USD). The business is not huge compared to other restaurant chains, but, in my opinion, it is the best-run restaurant chain in China, if not worldwide. No other companies which I have observed even come close to its insistence on the quality of services. It has push customer services to the extreme. I am speaking out of my personal experience without any bias since I do not own any share neither have I been influenced by anyone within the company.
Why does this small restaurant chain deserve so much attention and praises? Let's explore its success as follows:
Free up on-site personnel for serving customers:
Although there are only 36 restaurants nationwide, Haidilao invested heavily in centralized food preparation centers and logistic supports as well as world class supply chain system. The centralized supports have...