Liu Zhiguang, general manager of Beijing Tianyuanji Food and Beverage Co., is looking to take his chain of hot pot restaurants public, a rare move in China's booming food and beverage industry. Far from a member of the restaurateur elite, Liu could better be described as an investor.
Liu Zhiguang, General manager of Tianyuanji Food and Beverage co., ltd, Beijing, also a senior investor. [Photo by Chen Chen / China.org.cn]Before his stint at Tianyuanji Food and Beverage Co., Liu was a partner at the Beijing Road Investment Co. He thought highly of Tianyuanji, which literally means countryside chicken, and decided to devote his money and time to the Beijing restaurant chain.
"Investors have an unrestrained and vigorous style," Liu said, sitting in his office. "A layman can put an enterprise in the fast lane. But experienced workers keep it on the road." Liu's reforms at Tianyuanji have been sweeping, but he keeps the core of the business the same.
Liu says he wants to add European flair and class up the "countryside chicken" that made Tianyuanji so famous.
The chicken soup of Tianyuanji hot pot are all boiled of the chicken from this pot. [Photo by Chen Chen / China.org.cn]"I think there are two kinds of products: one is classical and the other is updated," Liu said. "Tianyuanji's chickens are raised in the wild. The chicken soup is boiled for seven hours. It's green, organic and environmentally friendly. These are the classical features, and I won't change them.
"But Tianyuanji's atmosphere is European. Our design showcases the landmarks of Seattle, Victoria, Bordeaux and Edinburg. Life in those cities is relaxed and simple. This is what I want for the environment of Tianyuanji a home away from home. Consumers in Tianyuanji can enjoy the feeling of countryside and home cooking."
Liu is building a "Parisian countryside" atmosphere for Tianyuanji. In the waiting areas, coffee is provided for consumers not to refresh you, but because its bitterness and smell can perk you up for a meal.
Liu show off his design for the restaurant on a computer. It included European-styled private rooms in light green. Looking at it, you might think you had stepped into a coffee bar instead of a hot pot restaurant. Instead of the steamy, hot air of most hot pot restaurants, powerful air conditioning keeps customers at Tianyuanji feeling cool.1 2 3 4 5 Next