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EO Company Opens 2019 Global Catering Innovation Summit in Toronto
COVID-19 and China
2019 Global Catering Innovation Summit in Toronto. Photo: Credit to iyiou.com

The 2019 Global Catering Innovation Summit (2019年全球餐饮产业创新峰会) was held on May 27 in Toronto, Canada under the auspices of EO Company (iyiou.com).

Canada-China Capital Alliance and Chinese Cuisine and Hospitality Association of Canada (CCHAC) co-hosted the event. Many Canadian and Chinese catering companies attended and joined the discussion about global catering business.

LI Shuang (李双), board member and partner of EO Company, spoke at the summit and released the Global Catering Case Study Report compiled by EO Company.

With a focus on global catering brands, the report analyzes brand initiatives and challenges in the era of globalization. On top of this, it also forecasts future industry trends and provides practical recommendations for catering brands planning to go global.

“With the acceleration of globalization, the flow of population and products breeds opportunities,” Li said. "Chinese catering brands are extremely interested in tapping overseas markets."

She went on to say: “This report cites the examples of McDonald's, Starbucks, Subway, Haidilao (海底捞) and other global brands as examples to analyze the process and measures of catering brands in globalization, and the strategies used in product and management."

Many catering brands choose Toronto as the point of entry into the North American market in their quest to go global.

Toronto is a city of immigrants. Among its 6 million citizens, immigrants account for 46.1% of Toronto's population. The city is a mélange of distinct food cultures and culinary styles originating from Italy, Mexico, China, Japan and Korea.

The diversity and richness of its culinary landscape make Toronto an ideal candidate for experiments in catering.

Apart from releasing the report, Li also pointed out the difficulties and problems confronting Chinese catering brands, which are as follows:

1. Which city or country to choose for overseas expansion?

2. In what form do catering companies operate overseas? Sole proprietorship or joint venture?

3. With the high labor costs overseas and the difficulty for chefs from China to get visas or immigrate to foreign countries, should brands place less emphasis on chefs and turn to standardized cuisine?

4. The population of Chinese expats and ethnic Chinese overseas is limited, meaning it's hard to build scale if companies seek to satisfy Chinese palates. Should the traditional Chinese recipes be tailored to a local taste or catered to the Chinese only?

5. "Among the most popular culinary styles in Canada, the first is Italian, Chinese and Mexican ranked second and third," Hou Pengpeng (侯朋朋) the president of CCHAC said at the summit. "However, China is glaringly absent from Canada's 10 most popular catering brands. That means more opportunities for companies in China to open up the market.

Luckin Coffee, one of China's coffee brands listed on Nasdaq, just held its Global Partner Conference and Global Coffee Industry Development Forum in Xiamen on May 29.

With technology as a centerpiece of its rapid expansion, Luckin has the potential to go global. The store management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and logistics management systems that Luckin Coffee has established provide the extra ammunition for the new coffee heavyweight to tap China’s fast-growing coffee scene.

As an important part of culture, Catering is often at the forefront of international exchanges.

With the upgrading of China's domestic brands and the technology-driven business model, more Chinese catering companies are expected to go abroad and build influential brands.

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