Korean Street Food

Korean Street Food



It is always interesting to work with companies and products you can touch as a common consumer, especially where you discover something new throughout the project. And such discovery really happened! It was spicy, hot at times, surprising and taking…

This time, our Agency gave hearts, minds and ‘stomachs’ to the chain of fast food outlets – Korean Street Food. During the first meeting the client articulated the desire to develop a packing case for Korean hand-made dumplings – a product both unique for the market and highly believed in by the company.

But behind the desire to sell more dumplings, there was a dream to popularize South Korean cuisine in a readily understandable format through the extensive network of outlets in Almaty and franchisees in Kazakhstan and beyond.

Eventually our joint project became a yellow brick road to the dream.

When they came to us, Korean Street Food network had been working for less than a year and served more than 200 visitors a day. However, continuous investments in business required increase in total return, thus allowing development of own network within the shortest possible time and thereby making the business attractive to potential partners. With that in mind the Company put forth an idea to engage in industrial-scale production of Korean dumplings, since in actual fact it was already established within the network itself. And this move seemed the easiest.

The idea’s attraction for the partners was promoted at two levels – emotional (inner closeness and understanding, idea uniqueness, first impression) and rational (business efficiency).

Current customers helped to understand what Korean Street Food is: more than 60% clearly associated the network with fresh and natural Korean cuisine, novelty and diversity, and noted its lightness and delicacy unlike any other fast food. It was apparent that at the moment Korean Street Food was quite different from the idea the clients had thereof. So we made it our mission to implement this positioning in a new visual representation, more daring and distinct with the focus on 25+ target audience.

To enhance business efficiency, we had to develop measures to increase the flow of visitors, average purchase amount and to understand the possibilities to reduce costs.

Customer survey showed that 15% increase of the average receipt amount would not make them stop visiting the network outlets, since they believed it a fair price. In the meantime we shouldn’t underestimate the role of cashiers/waiters and employee incentive program should be amended accordingly.

In this project we saw a recurring pattern – product offering development was so fast that eventually it became hard to manage, at the same time, it is a pain to abandon own ‘children’. Work with the product offering of Korean Street Food revealed a number of paradoxes:

  • there were dishes, which cooking required more than 10 minutes, while average customers were ready to wait up to 5-6 minutes (still it’s fast food);
  • price for basic ‘Korean’ dishes was far of excess of similar dishes sold in ‘Korean’ shops;
  • menu had a fair amount of similar positions, if looked at through an everyman’s eyes, rather than a professional Korean cook.

For the simple reason of restrained budget, we proposed activities, which may be implemented either on their own or at low cost. They all were aimed at the customer flow preservation regardless of time of the day and day of the week. To win new partners, we developed the business presentation, which, above all, reflected the idea, showed economic efficiency, and unveiled the conditions of and opportunities for cooperation.

Further recommendations were made with respect to service across outlets, business administration (since then current model was ideal for three outlets, but more likely than not would fail to meet the tasks in case of the network growth), and sales targets for each outlet.

Growth rate was supported by the proposed amendments, which gave an opportunity to maintain positive momentum despite seasonality.


Fast Food Buying Frequency, %

Desired Waiting Time, %

Things You Dislike About Fast Food, %




Working procedure:

  1. Strategic session with the owners and personal interviews with the company employees at different management levels (cashiers, waiters, managers)
  2. Personal interviews with visitors (120 interviews)
  3. Mystery shopper
  4. Analysis of the company internal information, performance, and earlier studies.


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