Korean Food Franchises Swarm into Flushing

Korean franchise bakery, Paris Baguette (Photo by Jiwon Choi)

Korean franchise bakery, Paris Baguette (Photo by Jiwon Choi)

As major Korean franchise bakeries and cafés move into downtown Flushing near the public parking lot, the whole area is now becoming streets of cafés and bakeries.

Korean chain bakeries, Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours on 38th Avenue, are competing with Chinese cafés, U.S. franchise shops and other Korean stores.

In addition, another Korean franchise, Caffé Bene, plans to open a new branch next to the parking lot, and the competition is expected to intensify.

Five cafés are located close to each other on 39th Avenue, including Paris Baguette, Tous les Jours, Cake House Win, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Fay Da Bakery.

They are run with a similar concept, selling cake, bread, tea and coffee. Canaan Bakery on Union Street sells the same items.

Since each of them needs different strategies to attract customers, Korean franchise stores try to gain customers by launching new products and introducing various kinds of bread.

Cake House Win installed a free-sample stand and sells some bread at a low price every evening. Chinese and other Korean non-franchise bakeries have responded with competitive pricing. Chinese bakery Fay Da set its prices 10 to 20 percent lower than Korean franchise shops.

Caffé Bene’s second location in Flushing, which is about to open, has an advantage of 140 seats, a pleasant interior and a wide variety of desserts, drinks, and bread.

The biggest reason why the area holds the limelight is a huge commuting population and easy access for Chinese customers. With an increasing preference for Korean brands and products among the Chinese, Korean stores are booming in downtown Flushing, where there are a large number of Chinese customers.

More than half of the customers of Cake House Win and Tous les Jours are Chinese.

Chulmin Shin, president of Caffé Bene, said that its brand awareness among Chinese customers is high and downtown Flushing is a perfect place to attract not only Chinese but also Koreans.

Another advantage is the fact that bus stops Koreans frequently use are close by.

Because of the location in front of Main Street Station and transfer points to buses, Korean bakeries in the area are targeting New Yorkers around Flushing and Bayside.

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