Young people who open milk tea shops: sweet dreams and cruel reality

  Do you like milk tea?

  Nowadays, the milk tea style is prevailing among young people.

In the rare leisure time, everyone held milk tea in their hands and talked about common topics, enhancing the relationship between each other.

  "Although I know that drinking milk tea often is not particularly healthy, isn't it beautiful to use a cup of sweet milk tea to polish the fatigue of the day?" said Zhang Han (a pseudonym) who often organizes the milk tea bureau in the office.

  The explosion of the milk tea market has attracted countless young people.

Not knowing the danger of not entering the game, the real cruelty is hidden under the surface popularity of the milk tea industry.

Newcomers soon discovered that they not only need to meet the pressure of giants to seize the market, and the courage of their peers to grab customers, but also need to rely on the belief that "the dawn is coming" to survive the long dormant period every day.

  Seeing too many young people rushing into this market excitedly, Ah Miao, who has returned from a short period of business, said: "The milk tea market seems to be lively. But less than 10% are really profitable, and the remaining 90% are struggling to survive."

  Tan Che

  The new store depends on "boil"

  "If you give me another chance, I should put a question mark on opening a milk tea shop. At least, I won't be so blindly optimistic." Lin Jing (pseudonym) was filled with emotion when she recalled the beautiful vision when she decided to open a milk tea shop.

  In 2019, 23-year-old Lin Jing found that there were more and more people drinking milk tea by her side.

Not long after she started to work, she discovered that milk tea is a "hard currency" integrated into the group of colleagues. When shopping on the weekends, she can meet little brothers and sisters holding milk tea everywhere.

  The bright prospect of the milk tea market made Lin Jing start the idea of ​​opening a milk tea shop.

After running around the market, she resolutely borrowed 200,000 yuan from her parents to open a milk tea shop.

  What makes Lin Jing entangled is whether to join the brand or to do its own brand.

  Joining a brand means that you can get brand endorsement, and you can get consumers without spending too much effort.

But you need to pay a lot of brand fees.

Although self-owned brands can save corresponding costs, they need to spend a lot of energy on promotion and marketing in addition to finding raw materials and creating taste ingredients by themselves.

  Han Ke (pseudonym), a college student who once opened a milk tea shop, urged her to choose the latter. "The franchise fee is tens of thousands of yuan, not to mention too expensive, and the brand is not as reliable as expected." Han Ke said, “Make your own brand and you can control your own direction. Material selection, taste creation, and promotion and operation are all in your own hands.”

  Lin Jing listened to the opinion of the senior sister.

Aiming at young people's pursuit of small and fresh hobbies, she deliberately decorated the shop in light green, reflecting the fresh and exquisite style in the brand LOGO, cup design, and promotional copy.

  In order to cater to the taste of young people, Lin Jing spent thousands of yuan to learn the process of making milk tea online, and also bought a number of "net black tea with the same formula" for blending, and invited friends who like milk tea to experience and comment, and then based on everyone's feedback Improve the taste.

  After three months of preparation, Lin Jing's milk tea shop opened in the local area.

Although there are several well-recognized brand stores on the same street, such as Gongcha and Naixue's tea, she still thinks she has the confidence to contend.

  The confidence comes from the price.

Lin Jing once calculated that the cost of a cup of milk tea is 2 to 3 yuan, even if you add fresh fruit, the cost will not exceed 5 yuan.

She sets the price between 8 and 15 yuan per cup, which is much lower than other peers.

"In the early stage, only price can be used to grab customers. As long as you can sell 30 cups a day, you will have a profit of nearly 10,000 yuan per month, which is enough to support yourself."

  But the reality is more cruel than Lin Jing expected. After the opening of the milk tea shop, very few customers came to the shop, and it took only a few days to sell one or two cups of milk tea.

  After two years of business, Lin Jing's milk tea shop barely supported it.

"It's a little bit reluctant when it's closed," Lin Jing said, "I can only go on slowly now."

  Joining the "pit"

  When learning that Lin Jing was going to open a milk tea shop, Han Ke had repeatedly persuaded her not to try rashly.

At least, don't join the brand lightly.

  "Don't think you can make money lying down by joining a brand. There are too many pits." In 2018, Han, who had worked for two years after graduation, chose a milk tea brand that claims to have "over 500 chain stores" to join.

  "The other party told me that after paying a franchise fee of 50,000 yuan, the brand will carry out the decoration design of the milk tea shop, provide machines and raw materials below the market price, promote marketing training and other all aspects of support." Han Ke said.

  Han Ke has calculated the cost of opening a store. In addition to the initial fee of 50,000 yuan, the deposit of 30,000 yuan, and the equipment and the first batch of raw materials, the first capital is 100,000 yuan, plus the store rent and employee salaries.

  This has exceeded Han Ke's initial budget, but at this time she is full of confidence: According to the introduction, it only takes one year to make all the costs back.

  But troubles followed one after another.

Before signing the contract, the staff once said that the equipment only cost 40,000 to 50,000 yuan, but in fact this expenditure cost her nearly 100,000 yuan.

To her annoyance, the prices of many of these devices were significantly higher than the prices she saw on the Internet.

  "An ice machine costs nearly 10,000 yuan, but Taobao's similar ones only cost a few thousand yuan. Only a few hundred yuan cash register is required, and the other party’s price is a few thousand yuan. The company purchases raw materials worth a few hundred yuan on the Internet. It has almost doubled.” Han Ke said that even the “free” decoration materials the company initially mentioned, eventually charged her nearly 30,000 yuan for all kinds of eyesight.

  Han Ke, who is constantly sending money to the other party's account, has no retreat at this moment. "Everyone has already boarded the ship, and everything can only be arranged by the other party."

  Originally thought that the store would be relatively easy to open, but she soon discovered that the personnel training, raw material deployment and other courses promised by the company before were rarely realized.

Whenever the other party actively contacts her, the content of the call is mostly to urge her to quickly confirm the order quantity of the next batch of raw materials.

  During the inspection, when planning sales for her, the company staff told her to sell at least 2,000 cups a month, which allowed Han Ke to deliberately increase the volume when the first batch was purchased.

But in fact, the monthly sales volume of the store is less than 300 cups, resulting in a large amount of raw materials hoarding in the warehouse.

  Han Ke once asked the other party whether they could wait for the first batch of raw materials to be digested before placing an order, but the other party required her to place an order on the grounds of the contract, otherwise the deposit will be forfeited.

  According to the current sales, it is impossible to return the cost within the expected time. At this time, she realized that she might have encountered the milk tea quick recruitment company.

  The Shell Finance reporter learned that a large number of quick recruitment companies for milk tea brands have appeared on the market in recent years. These companies usually have direct-operated stores in popular business districts and have become popular with novel designs and bomb marketing.

At the same time, it is supplemented by overwhelming advertisements to attract newcomers to join.

After signing the contract, the franchisees are earned by selling materials and raw materials, and after receiving the money, they begin to ignore the franchisees.

  "Too many milk tea quick recruitment companies are active in the market. They package themselves into big-name milk tea brands, attracting countless new entrants." A Miao (a pseudonym), who has many years of experience in milk tea shop operations, told reporters, "Newcomers are often It is easy to be deceived by similar companies and suffer heavy losses."

  After the one-year contract expired, Han Ke decided to withdraw, and the equipment he had bought for hundreds of thousands of dollars was packaged and sold to a scrap recycler for 20,000 yuan. "No more dreaming."

  No "Lie Win"

  “The core of running a milk tea shop is not franchising or its own brand, but how to do a good job in daily management.” A Miao, who has just turned 30 but has five years of experience in milk tea shop management in Zhejiang, said, “Many young people think that joining Milk tea brands can "lie down and win," but that's not the case at all."

  Soon after graduating from university, A Miao opened a milk tea shop.

In the past few years, he has seen too many young people pouring into this market and returning from a bleak operation after a short period of time.

"At its most prosperous, there were seven or eight milk tea shops on an ordinary street, but very few can survive for a year."

  Ah Miao told reporters that even if the newcomer joins a regular milk tea brand, it is only the initial stage of entry.

How to operate the milk tea shop is the key to the final profit.

"From site selection to brewing milk tea, recruiting and training employees, and grabbing customers with peers, it is impossible to completely count on the brand, and more depends on your own management."

  The location of the milk tea shop determines whether it can get the opportunity.

Before opening the store, Amiao once brought friends and looked around the city in order to find the store he liked.

  "Schools and business districts are definitely the best locations because of the flow of people. But these are not what you can get." Amiao has looked for many business districts, but after submitting the brand plan, he got it. The reply is: less well-known brands are not allowed to enter.

After many visits, a shopping mall finally agreed to him, but at the same time, it was proposed that the corresponding passenger flow must be brought in within a year, otherwise it must be left.

  Getting the right position is only the first step.

After the opening of the milk tea shop, Ah Miao spent almost 12 hours a day in the milk tea shop. Since the opening, he has hardly taken a day off.

When there are guests during the day, he is busy ordering the guests, making milk tea, and tidying up tables and chairs. After closing at night, he pulls the milk tea master to develop new products together, and builds products according to market trends and peer dynamics.

He wants to create explosive products, "A popular product is to grab market capital. If all products are homogenized, it means that you may be eliminated by the industry at any time."

  A Miao also competes with many nearby milk tea shops for customer sources every day, "Take care of every consumer. After all, behind every single customer source, there are likely to be customers who like the same taste and taste."

  Knowing that her own milk tea cannot compete with big brands, Amiao has decided to take the route of internet celebrity in addition to adjusting prices and launching package activities on a regular basis.

He once spent a lot of money on platforms such as Xiaohongshu and Dianping, inviting internet celebrities to take photos and comments on them, and even found local promotion teams to pretend to be guests, and line up at the door regularly every day to create an atmosphere of "Internet celebrity".

  Today, Ah Miao’s milk tea shop’s business is stable at around 6,000 cups a month. Based on a profit of 10 yuan per cup, he can earn nearly 60,000 yuan a month, which is “survived.”

  But A Miao also felt that the milk tea business was getting worse and worse.

With the promotion of more and more brands of milk tea, such as Naixue's tea and ice and snow honey city, the sales of stores have dropped by at least 20% in the past two years.

  "Compared with big milk tea brands, self-owned milk tea shops are not comparable in terms of capital or influence. A little carelessness may lead to bankruptcy." A Miao said, "What we can do now is to continuously improve the quality. Let it be your fate."

  "Now there are risks and opportunities to enter the market." Wang Yu (pseudonym), who is about to graduate from university, is hesitating. It feels very romantic and happy to make milk tea."

  Reality also makes many newcomers who were once full of hope gradually leave.

  At 10 o'clock in the evening, Lin Jing pulled down the door of the shop. She still looked forward to the future, "If everyone wants a sweet taste in life, then there will be a market for milk tea."

  Shell Financial Correspondent, Beijing News

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