중앙데일리

‘McDonald’s of bibimbap’ debuts

May 11,2010
Bibigo rice
“What rice, sauce and topping would you like?”

That’s the question at Bibigo in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, the city’s first fast-food bibimbap joint.

“Black rice, bulgogi [marinated beef] and citron soy sauce is very popular and healthy, of course,” the employee continued yesterday. Once the customer had made up her mind, it took less than a minute for the employees to prepare the dish.

CJ Foodville, the food and dining division of CJ Group, launched Bibigo yesterday as a small Seoul eatery, but it hopes it will quickly grow into an international franchise.

“We are planning on opening three branches each in Beijing, Los Angeles and Singapore this year,” said CJ Foodville CEO Kim Il-chun yesterday at the opening press conference. “In a bid to help globalize Korean food and to enhance our overseas business, we are aiming to open 1,000 Bibigo restaurants by 2015 in the form of joint venture or master franchises.”

The name “Bibigo” combines bibimbap, the spicy mixed rice and vegetable dish and “to go.” The restaurant’s emphasis is on quick takeout.

“It’s often the case that foreigners have a difficult time eating Korean food cooked and served the traditional way,” Kim said. “Should Koreans emphasize the traditional element of the food, foreigners may take interest in it out of curiosity, but in the long term there will be a limit to that interest.”

Kim said that with Bibigo his company tried to reinterpret the traditional elements of the dish with a modern mentality, and has been preparing to localize. “We want Bibigo to be the McDonald’s or Starbucks of Korean food,” he said.

Bibigo offers different types of rice, sauce and toppings. The rice and sauce was developed by CJ CheilJedang. White, black, brown and barley rice are available, with gochujang, ssamjang, green sesame and citron soy sauces. A bowl of bibimbap costs between 7,500 won ($6.60) and 8,000 won.


By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]



dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장