The Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) restaurant chain, known for its steamed dumplings called xiaolongbao, beat US-based McDonald’s and Starbucks to place second on a list of “best franchises for travelers” compiled by CNN Travel.
The article published on Thursday indexes restaurants, retailers and service providers that offer a familiar name for travelers in unfamiliar parts of the globe.
CNN Travel cites Din Tai Fung’s “transparent dumpling skin” as a reason to love the upscale chain, as diners can see the contents of their dumplings before digging in.
The article also says, with a touch of humor, that “customers complaining about hour-long waits” at most of the 70-odd Din Tai Fung restaurants in 11 countries is an indication of how popular the “sublime” cuisine has proven worldwide.
Din Tai Fung restaurants do not take reservations, instead requiring customers to line up on a first-come, first-served basis.
The restaurant started as a cooking oils store, but did not find success until it shifted its focus to xiaolongbao production in 1972, CNN Travel said.
Din Tai Fung’s two Hong Kong stores have each received one Michelin star for their high quality.
US chains dominated the list of “golden chains.” Convenience store 7-Eleven came in at No. 1 for its 15,831 locations in Japan — significantly more than the 7,700 stores it operates in the US.
Rounding out the list, in descending order, were McDonald’s, Starbucks, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, MOS Burger, Muji, KFC, IKEA, KidZania, DFS Galleria, Hilton Hotel & Resorts, Subway, Tim Hortons, Europcar, Marks & Spencer, Panda Express, Wagamama, Outback Steakhouse and Cinnabon.