【2020 TastyTrip Gastronomic Forum Review】China’s Fine Dining Market ramps up in Q3 with 35% turnover

Speakers at 2020 TastyTrip Gastronomic Forum

It has been the third year that TastyTrip held TastyTrip Gastronomic Forum at Modern Sky LAB Shanghai. We gathered industry people together to share their ideas on three main themes: New F&B Industry Trends in the Pandemic EraF&B Industry Focus on Sustainable Development in ChinaFemale Talent in China’s F&B Industry. The keynote speaker Wang Yong, executive Chinese chef of Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake, shared his story about 10 years of skill sharpening for his Chinese culinary journey for the first time during five years. Pu Shi Qiu, chairman of Elite Catering Management Association, Shi Yi Bin, marketing manager of Donghu Group Co., Ltd and Zhu Jun, chairman of The Hut shared their experiences on how they have gone about their decision-making to turn current pandemic conditions into a success story from three different systems.

We also invited several female talents in F&B industry: DeAille Tam, Obscura co-founder & executive chef, Jacqueline Qiu, celebrity chef, Zhou Zi Ling, founder of Chengdu Yintan Catering Co., Ltd, and Lena Wang, founder of Shenyang Fengtian Restaurant to inspire females’ confidence through their experiences. Jocelyn Chen, founder of TastyTrip and Monica Luo, director of communications of Paul Pairet Restaurants discussed how they have been working and helping F&B brands find breakthroughs during these testing times. Ada Qin, founder of Abovefarm had a deep talk with Miles Pundsack-Poe, head chef of Ensue, on the future of sustainability of domestic F&B industry. A big gathering of chefs, owners, medias lead to the discussion about the future development and culinary trends in F&B world.

Keynote Speaker – Chinese executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou, Wang Yong

In his first public speech in 5 years, the final speaker of the 2020 TastyTrip Gastronomic Forum in Shanghai was that of chef Wang Yong, executive chef of Chinese cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou West Lake. Receiving much love and applause from the audience, he happily shared his story of ’10 years of skill sharpening and his Chinese culinary journey.’

Wang Yong has been a chef in the industry for nearly 30 years and is a culinary master in the interpretation of Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisine with Jin Sha restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel becoming famous under his management.
During these ten years at Jin Sha, Wang Yong shares his background story of becoming a chef, reviewed many of his signature dishes, and explains how to this day he continues to innovate his dishes by maintaining the original flavor of the ingredients, whilst in pursuit of the taste perfection.
Chef Wang Yong also discussed how he manages and maintains the huge menu that holds more than 200 dishes, how he balances general to high-end ingredients, and how he finds inspiration from western cuisine and applies it to Chinese cuisine, whilst at the same time making it his own. What’s even more amazing is chef Wang Yong’s ability to preserve the traditional beauty of Chinese cuisine and promote it onto the world stage.

Wang Yong, Executive Chinese Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake

New F&B Industry Trends in the Pandemic Era

This year the F&B industry has faced an epidemic that went on to become a global pandemic affecting everyone in the industry. We have since reached a turning point on the road to recovery, with the 2020 TastyTrip Gastronomic Forum in Shanghai featuring a host of well-known F&B brand leaders who shared their experiences on how they have handled the current crisis and their key decision-making processes that turned current pandemic conditions into a success story. Key speakers included Pu Shi Qiu, Chairman of Elite Catering Management Association, Shi Yi Bin, Marketing Manager Shanghai Donghu (Group) Co., Ltd., and Zhu Jun, Chairman of The Hut.

It was interesting to note that all three speakers highlighted the fastest area recovery being in high-end catering, with a turnover increase of approximately 35%, followed by hot pot and barbecue restaurants that are popular amongst young people. As a result, this year’s market orientation has made many business opportunists swarm to open high-end restaurants, which raises a potential issue of homogeneity and one that requires caution.

From left to right: Jocelyn Chen, Founder of TastyTrip; Zhu Jun, Chairman of The Hut; Shi Yi Bin, Marketing Manager of Donghu Group Co., Ltd;

Pu Shi Qiu, Chairman of Elite Catering Management Association

From left to right: Shi Yi Bin, Pu Shi Qiu, Zhu Jun, Wang Yong

New F&B Industry Marketing Strategies in the Pandemic Era

The marketing approach of F&B brands is of key importance when it comes to recovery. TastyTrip founder Jocelyn Chen and Paul Pairet Restaurant Director of Communications Monica Luo discussed how they have been working to help assist F&B brands during these testing times with a joint analysis of their operational strategy of “local restaurants going international” and the successes it has brought.

Monica examined Ultraviolet – the only Michelin three-star restaurant in Shanghai – and how the creation of localized marketing strategies aided in gaining more attention public awareness. Strategies included the use of marketing tactics from France that was adapted for the Chinese market with the blessing of famous chef Alain Ducasse and many other key brand partners, together with developing and providing a comprehensive promotion marketing storyboard to attract the local consumer base. In previous years, 50% to 60% of foreign guests flew to Shanghai to dine in Ultraviolet, which has only 10 seats. Due to the epidemic and border closure, it resulted in a loss of foreign guests and created large number of cancellations of bookings this year.

To counter this, Ultraviolet uses its daily customer database to search for leads whilst many other establishments have used alternative strategies to attract local customers such as Polux shortening their menu to simplify and focus on core demographics, and Mr & Mrs Bund launching of a takeaway service for the first time, renovating and updating 60% of the menu content to increase favorability to that of local customers.

From Jocelyn’s perspective, this strategy involved local restaurants expanding their way of thought from a domestic to a more international one. She shared the success story of Yuzhilan Shanghai, from their early beginnings and their road to becoming a Michelin starred restaurant; and how Shenzhen’s Ensue successfully adapted global strategies for the Asian market which can be adopted by other domestic establishments for success.

Jocelyn Chen, Founder of TastyTrip(left)

Monica Luo, Director of Communications of Paul Pairet Restaurants(right)

F&B Industry Focus on Sustainable Development in China

Head chef Miles Pundsack-Poe presented California’s “farm-to-table” food culture to Shenzhen’s Ensue and explained the importance of sustainability in the F&B industry; and how it has been implemented through out the whole restaurant process from the purchasing of ingredients, processing and its presentation.

Ada Qin, the founder of Abovefarm further examined the role of sustainability in the F&B industry in the form of ecology, economy, and society and how sustainable ingredients that are directly sourced from farms promotes the positive development of the upstream and downstream catering industry chain and communication with consumers.

The two both shared their views on sustainable agriculture in the F&B industry, discussed each other’s past experience, and the current status and trend of sustainable development in China which sparked a lot of interest and engagement with the audience.

Ada Qin, Founder of Abovefarm(left)

Miles Pundsack-Poe, Head Chef of Ensue(right)

Miles Pundsack-Poe, Head Chef of Ensue

Female Talent in China’s F&B Industry

More and more female F&B industry talents are gradually stepping onto culinary stage, exploring various aspects of the catering world through their unique perspective and experiences. Together with celebrity chef Jacqueline Qiu and China’s first female Michelin-starred chef DeAille, they shared with the audience their wealth of experience in the F&B industry and discussed how they go about inspiring other female chefs in China.

Chef DeAille, Obscura Co-founder & Executive Chef also shared her thoughts on the growth and development of female chefs in the industry and discussed her personal experiences, achievements, and learnings with the audience.

Both agree that the chef industry is a high-pressure environment, particularly for women who are more vulnerable to social and family shackles that require many sacrifices. One highlighted key element for success is the continual need of motivation and enthusiasm in order to setup oneself up for success.

From left to right: Jocelyn Chen, Founder of TastyTrip; Jacqueline Qiu, Celebrity Chef, DeAille Tam, Obscura Co-founder & Executive Chef

Jacqueline Qiu, Celebrity Chef (left), DeAille Tam, Obscura Co-founder & Executive Chef (right)

Female talents of the F&B industry Zhou Zi Ling, founder of Chengdu Yintan Catering Co., Ltd and Lena Wang, founder of Shenyang Fengtian Restaurant discussed their success strategies in Chengdu and the Northeastern provinces of China through differentiated competition.

One unique strategy involved Lena Wang using surplusing ingredients from the Fengtian restaurant to open a breakfast shop brand called “Chuo Tan” to cater to different clientele which has proved a big success.

In these modern times, women are have become more and more independent, self-reliant, and their contribution to the industry is increasingly evident. The experiences shared by these two great female talents highlight their unique personal characteristics and their unique feminine touch that inject new energy and atmosphere to the previously male dominated F&B industry.

From left to right: Jocelyn Chen, Founder of TastyTrip; Zhou Zi Ling, Founder of Chengdu Yintan Catering Co., Ltd; Lena Wang, Founder of Shenyang Fengtian Restaurant

Zhou Zi Ling, Founder of Chengdu Yintan Catering Co., Ltd (left); Lena Wang, Founder of Shenyang Fengtian Restaurant (right)

The founder of organizer TastyTrip, Jocelyn Chen says, “2020 has been a very unique year for the global F&B industry. What began as an epidemic at the start of the year has gone on to become a global pandemic tha thas continued to wreak havoc around the world. One cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs. It is important to learn from each other under unusual circumstances. And to be noted that it’s the third year that we hold the forum. TastyTrip is devoted to share the leading edge fine dining trends to the domestic culinary arts community and tries to arise more attention in F&B world with our platform.”






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