Café de Coral

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Café de Coral Holdings, Ltd.
TypePublic
SEHK341
IndustryFood service
Founded1968; 54 years ago (1968) in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
HeadquartersShatin, Hong Kong
Key people
Sunny Lo (Chairman)
Products
RevenueHK$4.19 billion (2018)
Number of employees
19000+ (2018)
Websitecafedecoral.com
cafedecoralfastfood.com
Café de Coral Holdings Limited
Traditional Chinese大家樂集團有限公司
Simplified Chinese大家乐集团有限公司

Café de Coral Holdings, Ltd. (Chinese: 大家樂集團有限公司) is a fast-food restaurant group that owns and operates fast-food chains and restaurants, including Café de Coral, Super Super, The Spaghetti House, Oliver's Super Sandwiches, Ah Yee Leng Tong, and others.

Founded in 1968, the Café de Coral group opened its first Café de Coral restaurant in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong in 1969. Since then, the group has grown to operate over 580 separate outlets across its brands all over the world. It is the largest Chinese fast-food restaurant group in Hong Kong and in the world. In Hong Kong alone, it caters to over 300,000 people on a typical day.[1]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The founders of Café de Coral are Victor Lo Tang-seong (1915-2016), brother of Vitasoy founder Lo Kwee-seong and Fairwood founder Lo Fong-cheung, and his nephew, Lo Kai-muk.[2] Victor Lo had the idea of running a restaurant that would feed the working class of Hong Kong at affordable prices.[3] He incorporated Café de Coral in 1968, and started to operate the first location in Causeway Bay in September 1969 at the age of 54.[4][5]

The chain gradually expanded over the next decade. In 1977, it started promoting its restaurants through TV commercials. In 1979, it established its first food-processing plant in a move to lower costs and ensure consistency.[6] In 1986, the Café de Coral Group went public.[7] In 1988, it opened its 50th Café de Coral restaurant. The years after this were marked by diversification, when it went on a buying spree.[8]

Acquisitions and expansion[edit]

In May 1990, Café de Coral made its first acquisition by buying out the Ah Yee Leng Tong chain for HK$14 million.[9] A year later, it acquired The Spaghetti House, a popular chain that served HK-style Italian food. The same year, it opened up its second food-processing plant. In 1992, it opened both its 100th restaurant and its first restaurant outside Hong Kong in the nearby city of Shenzhen.[10]

In 1996, Café de Coral opened up the first location of its new restaurant brand, Bravo le Café. Also in 1996, it acquired Scanfoods, a ham-processing and food-distribution business. In 1998, it started yet another restaurant chain called Super Super Congee & Noodle.[10]

In 2000, continuing its trend of acquisitions, Café de Coral acquired Denny's Bakery, a bakery manufacturing and distribution business in Hong Kong. Also in 2000, it acquired Manchu Wok, a North American Chinese fast-food chain that had a strong presence in Canada and the United States. In the years following, Café de Coral also acquired China Inn (2002), New Asia Dabao (2003), and Oliver's Super Sandwiches (2003).[11]

In 2006, Café de Coral began rolling out its "fourth-generation concept" across all of its locations, effectively renovating many restaurants to bring them up to modern standards.[12]

In 2007, Café de Coral made an investment in the Tao Heung Group, a smaller restaurant group that operates 11 brands all over China and Hong Kong.[11]

In 2012, Café de Coral started another restaurant chain called MiXian Sense, aiming to become leader in Hong Kong mixian (rice noodle) market.

In 2016, founder Victor Lo Tang-seong died at the age of 101.[7]

Brands[edit]

Café de Coral[edit]

A Café de Coral fast food restaurant

Café de Coral is a fast-food restaurant chain that serves both Chinese and Western food at a budget price. Established in 1968 in Causeway Bay, Café de Coral operates over 100 locations in the Hong Kong and 24 locations in China.[13] As of September 2019, the group had 165 Café de Coral restaurants.[14]

The Spaghetti House[edit]

The Spaghetti House is a specialty restaurant chain that serves Hong Kong-style Italian cuisine and is positioned as a mid-market chain that is family- and tourist-friendly. Established in 1979, The Spaghetti House operates more than 30 locations in Hong Kong, Macau, and Southern China.[15]

Ah Yee Leng Tong[edit]

Ah Yee Leng Tong is a specialty restaurant chain that serves home-style Chinese soup and a variety of Cantonese dishes. It is also known for its XO sauce. Its restaurants, which average 250 m2, fuse both traditional and modern furnishings and appeal to both locals and tourists. As of 2007, the only location is at Hong Kong International Airport.[16]

Bravo le Café[edit]

Bravo le Café is a quick-service restaurant chain that offers a mix of Western, Chinese, and Japanese food in a bistro setting designed to appeal to "young and upwardly mobile executives."[17] Currently, the three locations of Bravo le Café are in Hong Kong – the International Finance Centre, Central, and Hong Kong International Airport.

Super Super Congee & Noodles[edit]

Super Super Congee & Noodles is a fast-food chain serving congee and various noodle dishes. As of March 2006, 50 locations were in Hong Kong, including two in Tsing Yi and one in Wong Tai Sin.

MiXian Sense[edit]

MiXian Sense is a specialty restaurant chain that serves its own special Sichuan spiced tomato soup rice noodles, with other choices of sweet tomato soup rice noodles and the classic pork bone broth soups and Sichuan spice soup rice noodles. First established in Ching Yi in 2012, it has now expanded all over Hong Kong in 16 locations.

Oliver's Super Sandwich[edit]

Oliver's Super Sandwich was introduced to Hong Kong in 1987 and has been rebranded in 2012 by Cafe de Coral. This brand mainly serves freshly made sandwiches, light pasta, and steamed potatoes topped with mixes of eggs and salmon.

Other brands[edit]

Other brands include Little Onion, The Cup, 360 Series, ZAKKA, Shanghai Lao Lao, and Dong Dong Tei.

Wage controversy[edit]

When Hong Kong's minimum wage law was passed in July 2010, Café de Coral raised its average salary from HK$22.4/hr to $33/hr to satisfy the law's requirements. During the process, though, it stopped paying its employees for lunch breaks. Their decision led to public backlash and the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions threatened to start a public boycott. Three days before the boycott was to begin, Café de Coral reversed its decision and resumed paying its employee for lunch breaks while still giving them the pay raise.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Café de Coral corporate site". Archived from the original on 14 January 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2007.
  2. ^ "Cafe de Coral founder dies at 101". TheStandard.com.hk. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  3. ^ Ng, Naomi (7 July 2016). "Cheap and filling, with a side of controversy: how Café de Coral became Hong Kong's largest fast-food chain". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Café de Coral History – 1960's". Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  5. ^ Cheung, Rachel (2 August 2017). "Homegrown Hong Kong: Cafe de Coral – feeding the working class". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Café de Coral History 1970's". Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  7. ^ a b Sun, Nikki (6 July 2016). "Founder of Café de Coral, Hong Kong's largest fast-food restaurant chain, dies at 101". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Café de Coral History – 1980's". Archived from the original on 7 December 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2005.
  9. ^ CEO's Plan on Integration of Firms – Lecture Slides
  10. ^ a b Café de Coral History – 1990's
  11. ^ a b "Café de Coral History – 21st century". Archived from the original on 1 November 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  12. ^ "Café de Coral's Introduction of 4G Design Concept Creates a New Era in Hong Kong's Fast Food Industry". 5 February 2006. Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  13. ^ "Café de Coral Information Page". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  14. ^ Choi, Martin (27 April 2020). "Café de Coral warns of 90 per cent profit slump in warning shot to Hong Kong's restaurant industry". South China Morning Post.
  15. ^ The Spaghetti House – Company Profile
  16. ^ Ah Yee Leng Tong – Locations Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Bravo le Cafe – Information Page". Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  18. ^ Olsen, Robert (8 November 2010). "Penny-Pinching Tycoon Backs Down After Public Backlash". Forbes.

External links[edit]