2021-10-23 12:00

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Big Queue Is No Big Deal As Long As You Can Take A Picture?


Big Queue Is No Problem As Long As You Can Take A Picture?


Have you heard of Sexy Tea? It is a Wanghong(, internet-famous) Chinese beverage chain, well-known for its good flavor and design influenced by Chinese style. 


As a local brand in Changsha, Hunan, Sexy Tea only located its stores in Changsha at first. Many people are even willing to pay for the flight ticket to Changsha just for a cup of Sexy Tea, sharing photos of it on their social media accounts. 


When the brand opened its first store in Wuhan, Hubei, on the first day, people had to line up for about 8 hours to get a cup of Sexy Tea. Some even had to buy it from scalpers, who set the price to 250 yuan a cup on average, which was about 10 times the original price.



Although it may sound crazy that people are willing to pay so much money and effort just for a cup of milk tea, its a fact that there are more and more so-called Wanghong stores and restaurants like Sexy Tea popping up now. 


The word Wanghong first occurred to describe online celebrities who get a lot of attention on the internet. When it is applied to describing the offline catering industry, it refers to restaurants that gain popularity on the internet and attract lots of people to go there for their reputation online.



Nowadays, people, especially young generations like Millennials and Generation Z, enjoy recording and sharing their lives on social media platforms. 


After the food is served, they tend to take photos before starting to eat. Let cameras eat first seems to become an institutionalized step when having meals in restaurants. 


Some people do this to show their sense of ritual in life, others dont understand this behavior because they think these people seem to put more emphasis on the photos instead of food itself and the face-to-face communication with their families and friends.


No matter how people think of taking photos before having meals, this behavior does provide more useful information like pictures and video comments for the public to access and evaluate different restaurants.



The emergence of the concept of Wanghong is largely attributed to our increasing reliance on online information now. 


When we are hungry, many of us tend to look up on websites or apps like Dianping() and Little Red Book(Xiaohongshu) to search for restaurants around us. 


The internet provides us with more choices and tons of information to help us make choices. When we browse those restaurants, we can see the comments of each restaurant before making our decisions. 



Those comments, including words and photos, serve as online word-of-mouth and create the image of a restaurant. The restaurants that get good feedback with beautiful photos of food and environment become internet-famous, being labeled as Wanghong restaurants and attracting more customers.


With the improvement of peoples material conditions, people have higher requirements for living quality. 


Peoples satisfaction with restaurants is not confined to the flavor of food. We are seeking additional values to have a better dining experience. 


29 Wanghong restaurants in Shanghai for dining and checking in.


Restaurants see the opportunity here and target the customers that are willing to queue up and pay higher prices for trendy elements. They regard Wanghong as a label of shortcut to success. They try to create a greater dining environment, beautiful dishes, and even employ people to queue in line to create a fake image of popularity.




However, those restaurants often ignore that theres a higher risk for Wanghong restaurants to collapse along with the higher possibility to succeed. Getting famous online means more people are supervising the restaurant, giving attention and feedback online. When many restaurants focus on Wanghong elements, they ignore the basic properties of restaurants, such as food quality and flavor, which leads to unsustainable success.



Miss Zhao Doesnt Wait for Seat() was one of the first Wanghong restaurants in Shanghai. This restaurant was a suspense novelists anniversary gift for his wife Miss Zhao, who was a famous hostess in Shanghai.


It soon became famous online because of its romantic founding story. Its artistic environment added to peoples interest in it. However, the restaurant finally closed because of too salty flavor and poor operation.



Besides the quality of food, Wanghong restaurants also need to worry about how to keep customers curiosity as time goes by. 


In the case of HeyTea, a famous beverage brand in China, it does well in always updating new menus and providing seasonal products to maintain customer loyalty.

From the perspective of restaurants, its a great idea to improve customers dining experience and better promote themselves online, but there are many things Wanghong restaurants should notice instead of just doing things on the surface.


On consumers perspective, its not a bad idea to visit Wanghong restaurants to seek new experiences and take great photos, but its better to look for more tips online before choosing which restaurant to go to. 


After finishing the meal, dont forget to give real feedback online to provide more reference for the future customers.


What do you think of Wanghong restaurants? Share your comments with us.


CONTRIBUTOR

Yvonne

(AnyHelper Volunteer)

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