25th June 2017
Hony Capital, owner of Pizza Express to launch its Chinese brand Beijing Hehegu to the UK. Hony Capital, one of China’s biggest private equity firms, aims to boost its global network of 850 outlets to more than 10,000 over the next decade, in its bid to be a top world food and beverages player. Operating through its Hong Kong catering and retail arm, Best Food Holding, Hony Capital will begin its hospitality expansion by launching Beijing Hehegu in London by the end of the year. Managing director Bruce Wang said: “When we were working on the takeover of PizzaExpress in Britain, we struggled to find a nice Chinese restaurant at the time. Given the large Chinese population residing there and lack of authentic Chinese food chains, it’s a huge opportunity for us.”
Best Food, which currently operates more than 150 stores in mainland China, will open new outlets of its Beijing Hehegu fast food chain in London’s business districts with a localised menu that is, ” palatable for Western customers.”
“If Beijing Hehegu can make a success in the UK, other Best Food’s Chinese cuisine brands will certainly follow the lead.” Hony Capital’s food and beverages global growth push comes at a time when the restaurant industry is seeing intense competition that has hurt sales at giants such as McDonald’s,” said Wang
Hony Capital, backed by Legend Holding, bought PizzaExpress for £900m in 2014. It plans to boost the British restaurant’s numbers in mainland China to more than 200 by 2021 from the current 35.
Best Food intends to source more than 50% of its ingredients locally.