The entanglement behind the bustling – blockchain + catering

First, the industry profile: independent or join?

In all tertiary industries, the catering industry is probably the most familiar area for people, not only for consumers, but also for entrepreneurs. Due to the low barriers to entry, the concept of “people taking food for the sky” is deeply rooted in the heart. It is said that “people have to eat whenever they want”, so for many people, in the absence of technical hard power, catering The industry is often the preferred choice for their entrepreneurship, especially after the “double-innovation campaign” that advocates the creation of the sinking company, this field has become a gathering place for many young entrepreneurs. So in some places, many people often associate entrepreneurship with “opening a restaurant”, which makes the service provision of the entire catering industry sink sharply and shows a decentralization in the industry structure. At the most exaggerated time, this power was even sunk to the hands of some C-side individuals, not the B-end restaurant. It was the ultimate decentralization of the catering industry, such as the shared catering and private affairs of the previous two years. Kitchen and other applications. Although the facts later proved that the service provision of the catering industry is not suitable for the deep level, it is undeniable that the provision of catering industry services has been a sinking and industrial pattern in recent years. The degree of centralization has also improved. For example, in the past, only some well-known food and beverage brands were able to own chain stores. Now, as long as the conditions are right, some entrepreneurial teams from grassroots can also create their own franchise system. The demand for blockchain technology in the catering industry is also due to the industry problems caused by this power sinking.

Figure: At the time of the first two years of sharing the economic concept, housewives with free time also act as C-side individuals, with the “family feelings” as the selling point, and invested in the service supply team of the catering industry.

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Specifically, the industrial chain and pain points of the catering industry, on this issue, the industry has a more general summary: three high and one low. That is, the cost of raw materials, labor, and rent is high, and the profit rate is low. According to a survey in Beijing, during the 10 years from 2002 to 2012, the operating costs of the catering industry in the city increased rapidly, such as salad oil rose by 120%, pork rose by 136%, water rose by 60%, and electricity rose by 100%. Labor rose by 347%, and rents rose four or five times. A 2011 report for listed catering companies pointed out that the average net profit margin of the catering industry was only about 8%. In this tough industry environment, if the founders of catering companies do not have a deep understanding of the industry, the consequences will be very embarrassing. For example, some idealists often open a magnificent tea restaurant in the suburbs of the village. Then it was quickly squeezed out by various flies. In recent years, the term "March Death" circulated in the industry has been ridiculed by such catering practitioners who do not understand the industry and operate poorly.

From this point of view, for many young entrepreneurs with low-minded eyes, if there is no deep understanding and understanding of the catering industry, it is likely that they are too busy on the one hand, and on the other hand, they have not made any money. Under such circumstances, for these newcomers in the food and beverage industry, instead of risking higher risk to create their own brands, it is better to become a franchise store of their famous brands and integrate into each other's chain system. On the income side, we use the credit endorsement effect of well-known brands to bring more customers to ourselves. At the same time, on the cost side, because in the franchise system, the technical solutions are provided by the headquarters, and some materials are also unified delivery, so the owner You can get out of these repetitive everyday chores and better think about other things in the store. It is very helpful for it to improve profit margins.

Second, the industry pain point: the contract is difficult to fulfill the contract

In fact, the catering industry “newcomers to join better than their own brands” has been recognized by many people. However, from the actual practice, the results are often unsatisfactory: although some entrepreneurs pay the franchise fee (or some other fees) to some catering brands, the effect of the operation is no different from that of the independent brand. So many franchisees angered the slogan "ten join nine scams." There are many reasons for this happening, and the principle behind it is a general statement: that is, the support of the brand has not achieved the expected results. Some of these factors come from the franchisees themselves, for example, the store address is not good; but there are also some factors that originate from the brand's failure to meet the expectations of the franchisees, and sometimes simply not fulfilled. Eventually, the franchisee's storefront was not smoothly integrated into the other's chain system. Give two examples:

Case 1: Entrepreneur Xiao Liu signed an agreement with a bullfrog chain brand to become the latter's franchise store. The business was quite popular and the scale was gradually expanded. However, after knowing that it had made a lot of money, the brand headquarters decided to take a share of it. So, the contract was forcibly changed, the franchise fee was increased by 20%, and all the new stores were requested. The decoration must be done by the people at the headquarters, and the price is 50% more expensive than the average price of the market. If Xiao Liu does not agree, he will stop providing key materials to him. In this regard, although Xiao Liu is very angry, but can only be forced to accept, and the profit margin is also compressed compared to expectations.

Case 2: Entrepreneur Xiao Zhang signed an agreement with a network red coffee brand to become the latter's franchise store. Before paying various fees such as the initial fee, the brand headquarters gave a series of commitments, claiming that if there are any difficulties in the operation, the headquarters will unconditionally support it. Unexpectedly, after the headquarters received the money, it was left alone, leaving the franchise store to fend for itself. Although Xiao Zhang had requested support from the headquarters many times in less than half a year after the opening of the business, the information sent back was like a sea of ​​water. After the money was not enough, Xiao Zhang’s coffee shop finally closed down.

It can be said that in the current catering industry, the contradiction between the brand side and the franchisee has become a problem of high concern. From the feedback of public opinion in recent years, the conflict between the two sides seems to be intensifying. The reason for this situation is that the big reason is that the sinking of the focus of the catering industry has greatly reduced the threshold for becoming a franchisee and a brand. Some of them have no relevant experience and experience, and even are not suitable for this line. People have also entered the industry and become brand parties or franchisees. The related cooperation has been quite unsatisfactory. Eventually, even if the newcomers want to become franchisees, they have more doubts about the brand, lest the latter can not give enough help to themselves.

Photo: The current "franchise" is almost the same as "direct sales".

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So, how can the crisis of trust between the brand and the franchisee be solved? In this regard, first of all, to find out the root cause of the "expected difference" of the franchisees for the support of the brand: If the franchisee is still in poor condition in the case of the implementation of the commitment by the brand, it is likely that the franchisee has its own problems (such as For the case, the best solution is to let the franchisees improve their insight into the catering industry. However, if the brand does not support the franchisee in the agreement, it is the brand's failure to believe. The key to solving this problem lies in how to enable the brand to continue to provide assistance to the franchisees after receiving the franchise fee. For this, the blockchain can be said to have a ready-made solution: that is, smart contracts based on blockchain.

In fact, like the above-mentioned brand and franchisees, the practitioners and investors in the blockchain industry are no strangers. In the first two years of “knowledge realizing”, many so-called “coin circles” also took advantage of the trend and established their own intellectual planet (commonly known as the small circle), which strongly advocated investors to enter, but investing After spending hundreds or even thousands of yuan into the ring, they found that "big brother" could not be updated several times in a small circle. After one year, these entrants were all squandered. The root cause of this situation is that the payment mechanism like a small circle is quite human–for the owner, he almost lost his continuation after receiving his full-year salary. The power of output, but if you answer a question to get a part of the reward, it will certainly continue to serve the circle friends under the economic incentives and tirelessly. The same is true for the catering industry. Why do brand parties often experience non-compliance? Because the franchisee has already prepaid the cost for one year at a time. Since the money has already arrived, the motivation of the brand to implement the promise is naturally not strong. After all, it takes so much to do more. And if the money is unlocked in batches with the progress of the work, then in order to get the initial fee, the brand will naturally have the motivation to implement the promise of joining the beginning.

Under such circumstances, the idea of ​​a blockchain-based smart contract to solve the restaurant chain trust crisis is as follows: After the brand party and the franchisee negotiate the joining rules, the relevant rules are set as smart contracts, and the franchisees will be related. The assets are kept on the blockchain. After each performance of the support party and confirmation by the franchisee, the relevant assets are automatically released to the brand's account. Considering that the brand itself also has a direct store that can create cash flow, and the franchise fee is often only a part of the income, so the partial release of this part of the funds often does not have a particularly fatal impact on the brand's own interests, in general It is also acceptable, this is the basic principle of blockchain technology to solve the pain points of the catering industry.

Figure: The basic principle of “blockchain + chain catering”, a little bit of appointment, release a part of the initial fee

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Strictly speaking, the blockchain solution of this brand and franchisee is applicable to all chain industries, but the effect applied to the catering field is relatively good. First of all, among all the projects in the investment chain industry, the number of catering industry is the largest, accounting for about 1/3. Secondly, other industries (including education, etc.) have become a long time for the brand because of slow effect, so related services The provision of the right to sink from the centralization mechanism is slower and smaller. The customer feedback in the catering industry is often very fast, and the product can be evaluated after a meal, so the cycle of forming the brand is very short, and the service delivery right of the relevant service sinks faster and has a larger range, which is easy to break into. Some immature business entities, so the contradiction between the brand side and the franchisee is more serious. So, it is very necessary to use blockchain to create trust. Although this program may not be perfect – after all, for this franchise store, the franchisee has paid a series of sunk costs in addition to the franchise fee, even if the stopover is stopped in the middle of the festival, the savings are only some franchise fees. . What's more, if the brand side is relatively strong, it is necessary to stop the supply and other conditions, and force the franchise to release the funds. In many cases, the other party can only bear it. However, this program has at least some restrictions on the unscrupulous behavior of certain brands, which is beyond doubt.

Figure: Catering is the most important part of the chain investment

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Third, the industry summary: blockchain application is difficult to grab traffic from the centralized giant

However, this solution faces a big risk – for the franchisees, the brand is certainly not an object worthy of trust, but is the blockchain technology and its projects? In fact, the most trusted intermediary for food and beverage store owners may still be a big platform like Hungry and Meituan. In this regard, it is not difficult to understand that it is not difficult to understand: Assume that the two giants of Hungry and the United States have developed a center. The "franchise treasure", and a blockchain startup company has done a decentralized "food chain", then who products will customers choose? The most likely result is: In the eyes of the shopkeeper, IT companies such as Hungry have already done their business well enough, and it is certainly not bad to enter new fields, and people are too big to be big. Take some of the franchise fee that you mortgaged. The most important thing is that the word-of-mouth accumulated on these platforms can be directly transferred to the past. As for the “food chain” of the blockchain, you lack trust accumulation, the technology behind it is difficult to understand, and you have to re-register as a user. Once, all the word-of-mouth accumulated in the industry may be difficult to migrate, so it is really debatable for the customer to choose which product.

The combination of blockchain and catering attempts to convey a message: for blockchain solutions, if your target customers are already clustered on a centralized Internet platform, then the challenge you face It will be great – you not only need to develop the underlying system, but also strive to get customers; and to achieve the same goal, the Internet giant may only need to develop one (or directly copy) the underlying system, as for traffic and customers. It's ready-made, by the way, although users may often be dissatisfied with these big companies, don't be fooled by this illusion, because in practice, these people will still vote for these centralizations with their feet. Large companies, rather than relatively inefficient decentralized blockchains. This is a very important phenomenon for the project startup team. After all, many times, what people say verbally doesn't really make much sense. Whether you are willing to do something for it is the most important thing.

[Note] Many solutions for blockchain + catering are now talking about the traceability of restaurant ingredients, but it is actually more about the customer's trust in the ingredients, so it should be classified. Previously mentioned in the "Agricultural Products + Traceability".