Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review and Trend: Churros


Churros are so hot right now. They are last season's Bubble Tea and the season's before's lemonade. They are essentially hotteok that is a stick that is easy to eat on the go. Churros will have a thousand copycats and only one or two will survive. The survivors might even franchise. 

The guys at Street Churros have the stuff to make it and let me tell you why. They are:
1. Young and hungry
2. They understand social media
3. They differentiate enough to make themselves stand out. 
4. They have good sauces
5. They seem to offer lots of free "service" but they aren't really. 

Let me explain. 

1. Being Young and hungry makes young people want to come. Most Koreans I know all dream of owning their own place and this is a way of living vicariously through others while secretly thinking of copying them and starting their own venture. Old people want to feel young so they will also stop in as well. Plus, in Korea, a crowd always draws a crowd. 

2. Social media: They are all over naver blogs and other social media. The staff poses for pictures and welcome bloggers to come. 

3. Differentiation: They offer good churros but that is not enough to survive. They offer good homemade dipping sauces like the apple dip and a chocolate dip (for 1,000 won extra, which is just money in the bank). Plus they offer ice cream and  churros, coffees, and teas. Their menu isn't huge but they have all the top hits you need at a cafe. They are like the 7-11 of churro shops. 

4. Sauces: Korean People need sauces. If you don't have one then they will ask for one. If you have it for free, they will use lots of it (check out Costco's sauce dispensers in their cafe). If it costs money, they still want it. It's a good service thing for a VIP guest. 

5. Free Service: The churros are cheap buy they have lots of addons that add value and profit to the bottom line. They add sauces for a dollar, ice cream, or coffee for a dollar extra. This idea of "friendly" add-ons adds extra profits and appreciation from guests. Korean customers love the idea of "service" and how one place will offer advantages over other shops. Plus if you can get it all at one place then it works best. Also, they have things like trash cans nearby. I know it doesn't sound like an advantage, but it is because trash cans are hard to find on the street.