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Main Topic: Wang Ping Steak Market Segmentation

Hosts: James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

In the next three shows, we visit Wang Ping Steak in Taiwan. Clyde and James are in studio to present the background of the steak restaurant market in Taiwan and China. What makes this topic interesting is the lack of beef in Chinese cuisine. How have firms marketed the concept of beef--a problem faced by McDonald's and skipped over by KFC? There is a clear steak market built up from the 1960s to 1990s, which included both restaurants and the ever-exciting night markets. A standard model of steak emerged and the market segment was stable. Wang Ping has changed all that with a big emphasis on service--never part of the mainstream steak market before. A totally new design, learning from the production efficiencies of McDonald's, and a clear market segmentation has led to a rapid dominance of the steak market, and a firm that wins award after award, stays in the popular press and requires reservations days in advance.

Wang Ping Restaurants
Wang Ping Restaurants

Beef is product that has required education of consumers in order to fit into the local culture. The high end restaurants, such as Chris Ruth, could always depend on expats and consumers who have traveled overseas and bought into the Western assumptions of steak. I suspect these consumers also appreciate wine and coffee, and generally have a jet-setting life style. For the rest of Chinese consumers, a standard steak meal developed, which could be found from chain restaurants to the popular night markets. Clyde and James visited the Wang Ping empire, by eating at all three of their main stores, in Taiwan and the PRC. The changes in the market are quite rapid and amazing. Wang Ping has changed the format, segmented the market, and most importantly, used service to captivate customers and teach them what a steak meal is all about. Since the three main chains, Wang Ping, Tao Ban Wu, and Tasty, serve different markets and present very different servicescapes, we will devote a whole show to each restaurant.

They designed systematically points of contact, from the entrance, to the table, to the core product.

Listen To The Show (Audio Only):

Length: 27 minutes. Download MP3 12.92MB (Right click->Save As).

On Location

Watch The Show (Video & Audio):

From Taiwan, Clyde and James.
Length: 27 minutes.

iPod Download MP4 122.33MB (Right click->Save As).
QuickTime Download MOV 99.43MB (Right click->Save As).
Windows Media Download WMV 49.30MB (Right click->Save As).
High Quality mp4 H.264(640x480) Download high quality mp4 208.61MB (Right click->Save As).


Thanks to Michal Turton for some of the traditional steak photos.

Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) A video from a consumer at Taichung Steak House.
Vid. 2) A consumer's example of the standard steak hot plate.
Vid. 3) A consumer's visit to Nobel Steak, an older steak house chain in Taiwan that has been overtaken by Wang Ping Steak.

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • Chinese consumers have been eating steak, but normally at night markets and simple steak houses.
  • Market had high end imported restaurants, but mostly local small chains and independent operators.
  • Local steak house servicescape tends to be very minimal.
  • A standard format developed that includes steak, egg, noodles, and a salad bar.
  • Large all you can eat steak houses became popular in the 1990s, such as Taichung Steak House.
  • Ponderosa has innovated to offer local metaphors, such as street noodles, as well as increased service levels.
  • Wang Ping Steak enters this market with a very different approach, emphasizing cost savings through systems, but with high contact service and market segmentation.
Category: Videocasts

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