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Gong Cha is a well-known Taiwanese Drink shop in Hong Kong. It was came from “Gao Xiong” in Taiwan and established in 2006. It is aimed at publicizing Gong Cha tea to the public[1] . It opens branches in eight more regions around the world, which are Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, China and Philippines[2]

Develpment in Hong Kong

Gong Cha was brought by a Hong Kong citizen who lived in Taiwan for five years in 2009 and it has been operated as a franchise store in Hong Kong[3]. Nowadays, there are about forty-six branches that are mainly operated in MTR stations and Shopping centers[4] . The drinks are divided into seven types including House Special, Brewed Tea, Milk Tea, Creative Mix, Coffee, Healthy Series and Ice Smoothie. There are about fifty-seven types of drink in total. The most popular one in Hong Kong is “Gong Cha Milk Green Tea”. There are two layers in the drink which the base is brewed tea with upper layer special creamer foam[5]

Characteristics of Gong Cha in Hong Kong

Matches with local culture

Gong Cha has become popular in Hong Kong because its products and operation method are matched with the local culture. Therefore, it is easily accepted by Hong Kong people.

(I). Fond of Chinese Tea

Hong Kong was being affected by the Western culture as it used to be the colony of Britain. However, the Chinese culture also one of the major components of local culture. Therefore, the Chinese traditional culture greatly influences the people, especially the culture of drinking tea. Hence, tea becomes one of the common drinks in Hong Kong. As Gong Cha’s mission is stated as “the best tea contributed to Emperor from all possessions of China in the ancient time”, the drinks of Gong Cha were reflecting the Chinese traditional tea culture.

(II). Blended

We can discover that Hong Kong also has the blended culture in food and drinks. They like to integrate different culture in one food or drink[6] . For example, the stir-fried instant noodles which adopting a Chinese cooking style into Japanese instant culture. Also, Coke with lemon and ginger, which mixed an American drink with Chinese ingredient, is the other example. For Gong Cha, it also provides similar kind of drinks such as combining fresh milk with creamy pudding and sweet red bean, and a combination of Japanese yogurt and Taiwanese green tea. Those products are match with the blended culture in Hong Kong.

(III). Instant

Due to the globalization, many items from different countries can enter Hong Kong to develop new market like the fast food industry. We can find the branches of McDonald and KFC everywhere in Hong Kong. The vigorous of Fast food industry is owing to emphasizing of efficiency. They want to provide food to the customers in the shortest time. Therefore, this kind of instant culture deeply affected Hong Kong people’s mind. Efficiency can also be found in Gong Cha. Through training, the staffs become speedy, the preparation time of the drinks becomes short. Besides, it provides hotline for the customers who purchase in bulk. The customers can order the drinks earlier and the waiting time can be reduced.

Mcdonaldization

Gong Cha adopts McDonaldization in their business. The efficiency of Gong Cha matches with the busy living style of Hong Kong people. Also, through training and providing guidelines, the service standard and the consistency of the products are maintained; the productivity is enhanced, too. Therefore the McDonaldization of Gong Cha is the essential key of its popularity in Hong Kong.

(I). Efficiency

Customers need to line up in front of the cashier to order drinks and wait for the drinks outside. The whole process would only take a few minutes, which is time-saving and convenient. The reason why Gong Cha can shorten the time of the production process is because of performing division of labor. Each worker is only responsible for a part of the production, and just follows the designated procedures set by Gong Cha. Since practice makes perfect, the staffs can finish the whole production faster. Moreover, Gong Cha provides fast delivery service. It is beneficial to the people who need to order many drinks at the same time, as well as reducing their waiting time.

(II). Predictability

The workers in Gong Cha work according to a set of predetermined rules. Also, Gong Cha provides training for them too. As a result, the consistency of the final product can be maintained, as there is no individual influence involved in the production. Since the consistency of the product is maintained and each step of the service is standardized, customers can predict and accept what they can get from the staff.

(III). Control

The employees’ behavior is always simplified into mechanic movement as it practices division of labor in the shops. Manpower is treated as a machine. Hence, as the workers cannot change the predetermined rules set by the employers and individual uniqueness is hidden. In addition, Gong Cha hires some unskilled workers at a lower wage. The employer can easily control them in this case.

(IV). Calculability

Gong Cha emphasize on calculating size, weight and production time of the drink. Their objective is quantified. Also, the customers will perceive that ‘more’ and ‘bigger’ is better. They emphasize on the price than the quality.

Reflects Hong Kong Identity

(I). Adaptable

Gong Cha was brought from Taiwan in 2009. After three years, forty-six branches are opened in total. The success of Gong Cha represents the adaptability of Hong Kong. Gong Cha is originated from Taiwan. It mainly offers Taiwanese drink to the customers. Since Hong Kong people are willing to try new products and they are adaptable to new goods and situation. Gong Cha has been accepted and approved in Hong Kong.

(II). Change

Hong Kong people are pleased to see Gong Cha stimulate the market. Gong Cha provides a wide variety of drinks to the customers, and the Taiwanese drinks allow them to have more choices on drinks rather than soft drinks and juices originally in the market. It brings innovation to the beverage industry. Hong Kong people love to see the changes in beverage industry brought by the Taiwanese drinks, as more choices of products promote better quality of life.

(III). Pursuit of freedom

In Gong Cha, people can make decision on many different aspects. They can choose the drink they like from seven categories, the amount of ice and level of sweet (0%, 30%, 50% and 100%) of the drinks. Both cold and hot drinks are provided as well. Extra ingredients and accompaniment such as bubble and jelly can also be added. As people can make their own choices according to their preferences, it is similar to the Hong Kong people that they wish to select things freely with less limitation. They would like to work and make decision without affected by others and base on their own preferences.

(IV). Innovative

There are many creative drinks in Gong Cha. Different ingredients are mixed together to create a new drink. For example, “milk tea mixed with cool and light herbal jelly” and “coffee mocha mixed with chocolate chips”. Hong Kong is also a creative place. The invention of Yuanyang, a Hong Kong-style drink that mixed milk tea and coffee together, would be a good example to illustrate this Hong Kong identity. Therefore, Hong Kong people appreciate the innovative feature of Gong Cha, as Hong Kong is also full of innovation.

(V). International

Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city. We can find a lot of products from the worldwide here. For instance, we can eat various cuisines from different countries such as Japanese sushi and Western fast food. For Gong Cha, it is similar to Hong Kong that it sells international products. It uses Japanese ingredients such as red bean and green tea, Korean ingredients such as pomelo and Western ingredients such as coffee and puddings. Gong Cha is a perfect match with Hong Kong, the international city.

Incident of Cloudy Agent

Problem

Cloudy Agent which mixed with a Plasticizer called “DEHP” has been added into the production and discovered by the government in 2011. “DEHP” is a harmful food addictive to human beings as it would lead to cancer and other health problems such as affecting the growth of male[7]. In the incident, some Taiwanese Drink shops have also been found that their products contained Cloudy Agent as well. It is because the ingredients and accompaniment that used in the drink were polluted by DEHP. Since the consumers were worried about and afraid of being affected by the Cloudy Agent, they chose not to buy these Taiwanese drinks anymore within this period of time. As a result, the sales revenue of the Taiwanese Drink shop decreased sharply. For example, the branch in Causeway Bay decreased about thirty percent of the sales revenue at that time[8] . Many Taiwanese brands also had to stop their operation. It seems that the incident of Cloudy Agent influence the Taiwanese Drink industry very much in Hong Kong.

Solution

The Taiwanese Drink shop suffered a great loss because of the incident of Cloudy Agent. In order to prove that their products are safe, they have taken different actions to gain back the confidence of the customers such as thinking of promotional activities and conducting tests on all the ingredients from Taiwan that they used in the drink. For Gong Cha, it stopped using the ingredients that are possibly infected by the Cloud Agent and stopped selling different types of juices in all Hong Kong branches[9] . Also, they provide some new drinks by using the materials from other places. Lastly, the incident is settled and people accept the drinks again.

References

  1. Gong Cha's mission. 貢茶茶飲連鎖加盟事業.
  2. Locations of Gong Cha around the world. 貢茶茶飲連鎖加盟事業.
  3. "台飲過江龍 奶泡滑到黏嘴". 太陽報. 2009-06-08. http://the-sun.on.cc/cnt/lifestyle/20090608/00479_001.html. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  4. 香港的營業據點. 貢茶茶飲連鎖加盟事業.
  5. Products of Gong Cha. 貢茶茶飲連鎖加盟事業.
  6. "奶茶是本港飲食文化精髓". 文匯報. 2010-10-11. http://paper.wenweipo.com/2010/10/11/ED1010110056.htm. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  7. "台飲品含致癌起雲劑". 太陽報. 2011-05-25. http://the-sun.on.cc/cnt/china_world/20110525/00429_001.html. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  8. "「日出茶太」全線產品安全". 新浪網. 2011-06-02. http://news.sina.com.hk/news/20110602/-1-2345341/1.html. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  9. "「貢茶」全線停售果汁飲品". 東方日報. 2011-06-02. http://orientaldaily.on.cc/cnt/news/20110602/00176_013.html. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Gong Cha, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Mabalu Search for "Gong Cha" on Google
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