Who is supporting the base of resilient China?

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Source: Qin Shuo’s circle of friends wechat id:qspyq2015

When various incidents of grey rhinos and black swans continue to break out, how to build a risk society into a resilient society has become a major challenge for mankind.

In physics, toughness means that material is not easy to break and rupture during deformation.

In architecture, it has been found that the traditional Chinese buildings with toughness rather than rigid structure will swing adaptively when encountering strong external impact. Its foundation, mortise and tenon, bucket arch, etc. can absorb and weaken the energy of impact, “the wall does not collapse when the house falls”.

The society also needs resilience, that is, when encountering destructive forces, it can continue to maintain and promote the effective operation of the society through the connecting repair force.

Toughness is so important, but the groups that support it are often ignored.

In 2020, the British Lancet published an editorial, pointing out that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought two useful lessons to mankind: first, it reminds us who is the person who really maintains social operation – “key practitioners” – including medical staff, shopping malls and social workers, public transport drivers, bank tellers, teachers, police, farmers and cleaners. Second, the social system is fragile. Not only the pressure of ventilator, oxygen shortage and health personnel has appeared, but also the food supply may be fragile. This kind of vulnerability is not unique to war-torn countries. It is around everyone.

The epidemic, which lasted until the third year, made countless Chinese people live and work in silence, perseverance and resistance. There are short-term raids and protracted battles that have been tugging at each other for months. Moreover, this “war of resistance” will continue.

This is a tough war, and it is also testing the resilience of society.

Food is the most important thing for the people. Those who have experienced a long period of silence have the following experience: the usual three meals a day is now an important event for families; The takeout that was called in the past has now become a special expectation.

The community I live in has been under silent management for more than two months. Some housewives lose weight because their cooking aunts go back to their hometown or are closed in their houses. Housewives cook every day and gradually lose their appetite. Some young people haven’t cooked any food, and they don’t have any cooking utensils. Even if the community has issued guaranteed meat, eggs and vegetables, they don’t know how to do it. In these days, whenever you can order a takeout and a group purchase, it seems to be a happy event.

At this time, you will truly feel that the toughness of society is the toughness of life, that is, the toughness of having three meals a day. The takeaway merchants and riders are also the “key practitioners” of the society, supporting the resilience of society, economy and employment with the power of the market.

There is a river outside our community with a wall in the middle. These days, we can see that there are several small tents on the grass and trees on both sides of the river. It is a temporary residence for take out riders. Because before unsealing, once they leave the community, they can’t go back. They are very close and far away from me. I know that my life will be better with them.

Recently, the package of policies and measures for stabilizing the economy issued by the State Council pointed out that we should give full play to the role of the platform economy in stabilizing employment, stabilize the development expectations of platform enterprises and their symbiotic small, medium and micro enterprises, and do a good job in the online and offline linkage of “the last mile” of epidemic prevention materials and important livelihood commodities in epidemic prevention and control.

The opinions of the general office of the State Council on further releasing consumption potential and promoting sustainable recovery of consumption also proposed to cope with the impact of the epidemic, adapt to the needs of normalized epidemic prevention and control, and accelerate the organic integration of online and offline consumption.

Resilience is the connection of services and the transmission of power. Through telephone and wechat, I recently communicated with several takeout merchants in Beijing, Shaoguan and Shenyang. My feeling is that whether it is a resilient society or a resilient economy, the most important thing is the resilience of people, and the digital economy has strengthened this resilience than ever before.


In Beijing


In February, a food city in Jingliang square, Tiancun Road, Haidian District was closed and removed. When the site lease expired, the owners raised the price, which the merchants could not bear, so they broke up with each other.

After 70, Mr. Xin came to Beijing from Jilin to start a business in December, 2019. The couple opened a “bone sparerib rice with wood sauce” in the Food City, a stall of more than ten square meters. Because they came late, the good position was gone, and their stall was very backward, which was very inconspicuous.

At that time, BD (business development personnel) of the take out platform visited customers in the Food City, suggested them to take out, and based on the data analysis of the platform, provided them with suggestions on dishes, pricing, full sales activities, etc. Soon, takeout accounted for 80% of their business, and the most ordered was the set meal of ribs with 30 ~ 35 yuan.

The food city is closed, and the livelihood is suddenly lost. Based on the data of the platform, BD helped Mr. Xin make site selection suggestions, and found a new stall nearby, which is not far from the original, so that the loss of old customers will be reduced. Xinfangkou is also located in a food city, with an area of more than 20 square meters and a monthly rent of more than 10000 yuan.

The couple get up at 6:10 every morning and start work. The food materials are basically delivered by the suppliers. There is also a vegetable market nearby, which is very convenient to supplement. Their “bone spareribs rice with wood sauce” went on. The couple, together with a small worker, make two meals a day, mainly takeout, ranging from 70 or 80 orders to 100 orders. I went back to my place at two o’clock in the afternoon to have a rest for an hour, and then continued to work until eleven or twelve o’clock in the evening.

The new stall has just opened, and the money falling into the pocket every month is about 10000 yuan. Recently, meituan takeout has taken some “help” measures for small and micro businesses seriously affected by the epidemic. It has also subsidized thousands of yuan, which can relieve some of the rent pressure.

Compared with Mr. Xin, “Zhuji Shunde cuisine” in Beijing is much better in both scale and benefit. Boss Zhu was born in Beijing after 60 and has been catering for more than 30 years. In 2021, he saw Shunde cuisine as an opportunity. Because of its light taste, the combination of meat and vegetables, and the rich variety of stewed dumplings, roasted meat, fish cakes, stir fry, snacks, desserts and stewed soup, he created Zhuji Shunde cuisine, and opened five restaurants at one go, each with an area of 300 square meters.

Yanghao, the operation director of Zhuji Shunde cuisine, said that the reason for making Shunde cuisine was to break through the competition from hotpot, kebab, sheep and scorpion. Shunde cuisine has a certain threshold. For example, Yizhuang restaurant has 26 employees, and the back kitchen rarely uses semi-finished products, which are basically made on site.

Zhuji Shunde food was only made as hall food at the beginning, not as takeout, because Shunde food stresses “pot spirit”, and packaging will have an impact. However, when the epidemic came, the food in the hall was greatly affected, so it was taken out and packed in tin cartons to keep the “human fireworks flavor” of the food in the hall. At present, the daily delivery volume of Yizhuang store is about 15000 yuan, with 100 ~ 120 orders. In Beijing, as the hall food is suspended from time to time, even the high-end “Black Pearl” restaurant has begun to try to take out food, so as to have another way to go. A steak house called morton’s (Morton) quickly launched the takeaway app through the green channel on May 6. They said that they are tough to go online, because the taste of steak is limited by the temperature, so it is not suitable for taking out. Usually the steak should be eaten within 5 minutes after it is prepared, otherwise the taste loss is very large. For takeaway, the chef should make the maturity of the steak slightly lower than the customer’s requirements, wrap it with tin foil, and control the maturity with residual temperature. Although the high-end steak restaurant can fully provide the experience food in the hall, and the steak set meal priced at a few hundred yuan has greatly exceeded the acceptance of ordinary consumers in the take away scenario, but “do it bit by bit, even if there are only 20 orders a day, it can make customers feel that they can enjoy all-weather service”.

Yang Hao said that Zhuji Shunde food delivery was an emergency strategy at the beginning. After it was introduced, it was found that it was not only an emergency but also a long-term strategy.

First of all, takeout is a more flexible business model with stronger risk resistance. The rent is a hard cost for a restaurant, which must be paid no matter what the business is, while the Commission for a takeout is a flexible cost. If there is no business, there is no commission;

Secondly, takeout and hall food are actually complementary. Takeout can also feed hall food. In general, the business of hall food is 500 meters, while the business of takeout extends to 3 to 5 kilometers. Brand merchants can further expand the distribution and exposure scope by launching “city wide delivery”. Many consumers in the epidemic said, “if I didn’t order takeout, I didn’t know there were such delicious shops.”

In the Beijing orders for meituan takeout in May, the proportion of such orders mentioned in user comments that “go to the hall to eat after the epidemic” increased by nearly 5 times month on month, which fully shows that takeout can not only bring incremental income to businesses, but also bring new customers to the hall.

The strategy of making takeout and hall food is also different. The on-site communication with customers is the main way to make food, and the on-line communication is the main way to make takeout. The strategy should be much more flexible. At the suggestion of BD, Zhuji Shunde cuisine launched a set meal for twoorthree people, priced at 180-220 yuan. “Drainage products” have been launched. For example, shrimp dumplings are normally sold for more than 30 yuan. After the consumption reaches 98 yuan, you can buy one with an additional 9.9 yuan. These online operation strategies have attracted new customers and injected vitality.


In Shaoguan


Ali’s parents have worked as a big food stall all their lives, but Ali feels that the big food stall has “big smoke”, so he makes a tea restaurant, making simple meals, light food, pasta, bread, lemon tea and so on.

The tea restaurant opened on January 1st, 2019, with a turnover of more than 1million yuan and a gross profit of 300000 or 400000 yuan in the first year. The number of employees varies from 4 to 8 in light and peak seasons. At present, they have opened 6 tea restaurants and 4 are franchisees.

Ali said that the epidemic has hindered many enterprises, but they have just grown up in the epidemic. Since they started to serve takeout food, they have become a brand among young people. However, many local restaurants still use the old method of “wine is not afraid of the depth of the alley”. They only do it offline. When the epidemic comes, they have to stop, and the market space immediately gives way.

The older generation of diners like Ali’s parents found it difficult to accept and understand takeout at the beginning. They thought the customers wanted to eat it in the store. They ordered a takeout home. It was not delicious. They are also unfamiliar with small programs and so on, and find it difficult. This is the case for many people in the older generation. Ali wants to bring back what he learned in big cities and the Internet, so that local people can have a look. There can also be many modes of catering. “In fact, it is very easy to develop small programs. There are standard templates. They are expensive for thousands or 12000 yuan, and cheap for only 12000 or even 800 yuan.”

Seeing Ali’s growth, his parents recently told him, “when will you invite the delivery manager to teach us how to make delivery?”

In addition to the tea restaurant, Ali and his team also entered the coffee shop market. Last November, the first coffee shop “twenty four flavors of the world” opened. Later, another one was opened in Chaozhou. Two more are under renovation. In the past, many office workers in Shaoguan drank black tea. Now, some of them will take out a cup of coffee after work.

Ali said that the first advantage of takeout is that it has a very close relationship with customers, and can be continuously improved through customer evaluation (including poor evaluation). Online + offline, it also cultivates global thinking. “We will make statistics on where offline customers know about us, such as meituan, Dianping, Tiktok and xiaohongshu. We also have long-term cooperation with professional design companies. Because offline stores have a high appearance, customers will take photos and show them in the social circle. But the most important thing is to make good products. We often look for what people like on various online platforms, and take out platforms will also show the favorite dishes of surrounding consumers, which will be screened through these, Then add your own creation. For example, we have made a ‘iced Cantonese coffee’, which uses Guangdong herbal tea with coffee. It is very popular. “

Ali’s three partners have worked in a planning company in Shanghai, studied in the UK and sold cars in Guangzhou. Ali said: “There is a saying that ‘the end point of social livestock is examination and editing’. We have all seen it outside. In big cities, we can’t afford to buy a house, commuting time is long, and we also want to go home to test civil servants to live a stable life. But when we get together, we think it’s still interesting to start a business, first in Shaoguan, and then in the fourth and fifth tier cities. The local labor force is 2500 or 2800 yuan to 3000 or 4000 yuan a month, and we can earn 1.5 to 2 times when we go out, but we also spend a lot of money. Renting a house is very expensive, and there is not much left. Now We all bought cars and houses. We haven’t borrowed any money. We invest in one store with what we earn from one store. After deducting working capital and new investment every month, they also divide some money according to shares. Each person can basically get several thousand yuan, which is much better than working outside. We develop, test and improve ourselves. From product storage to materials, packaging, space and visual recognition, we feel like the master. Maybe one day we will open a shop in a big city. “

Ali just got married and bought a new house of 144 square meters, with a total price of RMB 80.9 million. “I feel that my hometown is also changing. This year, Shaoguan Danxia airport was opened. The shopping malls built by poly and country garden are similar to those in big cities. There is little difference in hardware. There are many brands in the first and second tier. Shaoguan is also slowly developing.”

When I asked Ali how long he worked every day, he replied, “24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He was doing his bills at work, thinking about how to do it after work, and also learning. Besides eating and sleeping, he was working, and even dreaming about work.”


In Shenyang


The reason why Wang Junliang developed maocai is that, first, the off-site food is often suspended due to the epidemic, which has a great impact on shopping malls and large stores in prime locations. It is necessary to develop a new direction of “small but excellent” and suitable for the management of mom and pop stores; Second, compared with Malatang and malaxiang pot, maocai is relatively less saturated, and the customer unit price is also higher.

“Jin Huanxi” has no special chef, but the “central factory” uniformly distributes the food materials. The factory is located in Sujiatun and has a long-term cooperative relationship. Normal temperature logistics is used for the base material, and cold chain logistics is used for meat products. A store is equipped with 70 orders per person per day. For example, a store with 300 orders per day is equipped with 4 people.

Wangjunliang said that food and beverage should first make the products in place and the taste should be stable. They have made a lot of efforts in the “spicy” aspect. They regularly investigate what young people like through the community. Today is the maw, and tomorrow may be the spicy beef. They should respond in time; Secondly, every picture of the takeout dishes is carefully designed, and the offline stores with tens of square meters should also be decorated with identifications. For example, “Jin Huanxi” is Hong Kong style, which is fashionable; Third, carry out compound marketing online and offline. Cooperate with the take away platform to learn how to capture traffic, how to obtain stable exposure on the platform, and how to play a role in the epidemic if online passenger flow accumulates.

The biggest impact of the epidemic is that there are situations in the vicinity of some stores, and the canteen won’t let go at all. At present, jinhuanxi mainly relies on takeout, accounting for 70% of the business, and the customer unit price is about 35 yuan.

On June 9, wangjunliang sent several pictures in his circle of friends. One was the list of takeout in Shenyang, and another showed that the previous day’s income was 10677.39 yuan, and the average price of paid in bills was 35.54 yuan. He said: “at this rate, we can reach Top1 in Shencheng in 10 days. The era of taking vegetables is coming. Friends and businessmen should work together!”


Tough and hard

In an uncertain and competitive environment, it is not easy for everyone. The boss of a Beijing “Happy Mouth” made an appointment to interview, but he couldn’t do it several times. He said that he was busy with disinfection and sterilization and ordering goods. The re opening of the canteen needed to prepare a lot of things. There was really no time.

No matter how difficult it is, there will be hope and new space. Stop your hands and feet, and everything will stop.

Not long ago, I saw that Guangdong media reported that a dumpling shop had experienced epidemic control three times in the past four months. A 28 year old young shopkeeper was originally in Shenzhen. There was an epidemic in Shenzhen. He moved to Guangzhou and encountered the epidemic in Guangzhou. His dumplings are spread outside the control area, and his home is in the control area. His wife has been pregnant for more than six months. However, in order to make a living, he left home and stayed in the store. He prepared meals for the surrounding residents who were unable to go out due to the closure. He slept only a few hours a day. He received more than 170 takeout orders on the peak day, and received orders at more than 4 a.m. at the latest.

In every corner of the city, there are people like the owner of the dumpling shop who make a living and work hard. They work hard for their own survival and are gratified by their service to the society. He said: “after living in the store for more than two weeks, I once saw customers leave messages on the takeout platform, saying that they could eat instant noodles for three consecutive days and have steaming dumplings. I was very moved.”

This is toughness. This is value. When you place an order on your mobile phone, someone exists and works tenaciously to provide this round the clock and timely service. Although unknown, it is also a “key practitioner” of the society.

It is these “key practitioners” that make China’s catering tenacity incomparably strong. Studies have shown that it is also the epidemic situation. The U.S. catering industry shrank by 33% and China shrank by 16%. The difference between them is China’s takeaway resilience, including online cashier, takeaway orders, contactless distribution, etc.

Affected by the epidemic, the U.S. catering industry has also suffered a great blow. According to the data of the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. catering industry lost $240billion in 2020, making it one of the industries most seriously injured in the epidemic.

But every cloud has a golden edge. In the United States, similar to China, those restaurants that accelerate digital operations can better resist risks and flourish. They have either digitized their services or have the ability to transform services into contactless, thus extending the service radius from restaurants to consumers’ homes.

The epidemic has made the U.S. catering industry aware of the importance of digitalization. More and more businesses have begun to try online payment, online ordering, direct distribution or distribution provided by a third party. In China, as these digital operation modes become more popular, catering is more resilient and extensive.

On June 2, Beijing printed and distributed the “implementation plan for coordinating epidemic prevention and control and stabilizing economic growth”, proposing to promote the recovery and development of catering enterprises, and jointly issue catering consumption vouchers to take out platform enterprises. This is an affirmation of the resilience of foreign sales. At the same time, the normalization of anti epidemic will also put forward higher requirements for the resilience of catering.

Man is iron, rice is steel. Takeout, which connects supply and demand, has become an indispensable part of the base for the resilience of Chinese social life. At the same time, the list of consumers is also the rice bowl of suppliers.

Social resilience is a dynamic process of rapid adjustment and adaptation in the process of constantly resisting risks.

In this process, the network connected by the platform economy is a necessary foundation to help society spread risks in time and space and maintain inter group mutual assistance and social synergy.

More importantly, when members of the society can always feel the resilience of the society in daily life such as three meals a day, they will maintain stability in life and hope for the future.

Those who persevere and work hard, those who try their best to find a way out and make progress, and their efforts make it possible for the society to operate stably. Economic and social stability needs some identification basis, and their figure is a stable identifier and weathervane.

No matter how much wind and rain, they are there and support us.

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