Gourmet Master Co (美食達人) is planning to open a flagship 85°C Bakery Cafe outlet in southern Beijing later this year, which it believes will better cater to young consumers’ tastes, a company executive said on Friday.
Gourmet Master executive vice president of China David Chiu (邱志宏) said the store, which is set to be launched in September or October in a large furniture mall in the Daxing district, will have more space for people to sit down than any of the brand’s other stores in China.
The plan reflects the company’s changing strategy for the popular coffee chain, known as the “Starbucks of Taiwan,” Chiu said.
The initial strategy behind the 85°C concept, he said, was to generate high turnover by keeping seating capacity to a minimum.
However, today, the young consumers who make up a majority of the chain’s customers — in Taiwan and in China — want to sit down and slowly savor their coffees before moving on, prompting the brand to open shops with new images and more seating capacity, Chiu said.
The 85°C brand first entered China’s market in December 2007 and has since opened 423 branches, of which a quarter are in Shanghai. Another 130 are in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
All of the chain’s stores in China are directly operated, in contrast to its outlets in Taiwan, which are mostly run by franchisees.