Character café is very famous for social gathering and couples dating in Asia countries. In addition, it would be a great choice for holding party with family or friends as well. Characters like Hello Kitty and Snoopy are very popular all over the world. Both Hello Kitty and Snoopy were accompanying with us from our childhood via television or their products such as stationery, school bags and toys for people who were born from 1960s-2010s. Even we are an adult, they remind our childhood memories. Children, students and couples are the main target market. Not only local people, even tourists are their target market due to that fact that character café provides wonderful atmosphere, gorgeous decoration and delicate dishes.
Inside the café, customers can see all the characters around the cafés even the chairs are the face of Hello Kitty. For the menu, the character's face is on all the dishes no matter for the drink as well. There are about many character cafés has been launched successfully in Asia these few years such as two Snoopy cafés in Hong Kong, four in China, seven in Korea, one in Singapore, one in Malaysia and two in Japan, one Hello Kitty cafes in Taiwan and one in Korea. Theme café is great successfully operated in Asia. Therefore, our group would like to move to concept to San Francisco, USA.
Geography and population of San Francisco
San Francisco is located on the west coast of the U.S.A. at the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. It is also the most urbanized and second-most populous city (Focus, 2010). Referring to Focus (2010), 776,733 people living in San Francisco in 2000 and there will add over 158, 000 people and almost 73,000 households between 2000 and 2030. San Francisco is a one of the well-known cities which full of Asians especially Chinese, approximately 19.6%. "Its geographically central position within the region, its standing as a cultural and entertainment center, and its attractiveness for recent immigrants" (Focus, 2010) .According from San Francisco California Population and Demographics Resources, there were approximate 31% Asians in San Francisco in 2000. Therefore, moving theme café concept into San Francisco would be a workable business because Asians are the second big population in San Francisco.
The setting up of the new theme business in San Francisco would require a relatively large amount of money. With the large number of population in the city, with majority being potential business customers, there is dire need for the business to develop a big business even at start up to cater for the ready market (Al-Ali, 2003: 23). The business would therefore require amounts ranging around one hundred million dollars to cover up the set up costs. This would not only enable the business to acquire a quick market coverage share, but also the development of a strong customer base from start up. The business would need to purchase an already existing café for fifty million.
Once purchased, the business should be able to put in place strategies to ensure that they acquire and maintain the large market coverage. As a result, the business should be able to diversify in their operations by offering even more food products to include even the non-Asian residents in San Francisco. A market research and development of the new products can cost up to about five million dollars following the fact that the business will be using its own resources. Moreover, the business would be able to put in place strategies to help in the modification of their product packages. The business should be able to adopt the current trends in the market where most customers are busy but would like to eat at home (Feigenbaum & Feigenbaum, 2006: 58). It would be better if the business purchases the containers for packaging of the carry away foods. Such containers would cost the business three million dollars at start up. It would be also important if the business does a promotion on the newspapers and the electronic media like over television. This would cost around ten million.
There is a variety of risks, which might face the business. The most eminent in the risk of serious competition from other well established businesses like the MacDonald. This would reduce the business customer base. In addition, the business is likely to face the problem of low customer turn out at the beginning of the operations (Nieuwenhuizen, 2007). This would quantify the high amounts spent on the advertisement t be carried out in the business at start up. The high operation costs in the city of San Francisco would include the registration costs to the city council. The negotiation fees for the purchase of the new business including the involvement of an attorney would cost the business around five million.
The market operations in the San Francisco city would be penetrated by offering high quality products from the business. On the acquisition of the trading license from the city local authorities, the business would begin their operations by offering high quality food to the people. To ensure right positioning in the market, the business should set up the first outlet in the regions, which are mostly, occupies by the Asians in the city. This would ensure them an immediate market (Nieuwenhuizen, 2007). The theme name of the business, which is hello kitty, would also ensure that they are identified earlier and easily because people are already at home with the names.
The total amount of money spent would thus be sixty eight million. The remaining thirty two million would have ten million used in the upgrading the structures of the existing business purchased. This would include renovations and even paintings with few new buildings to make the business conform to the required standards (Feigenbaum & Feigenbaum, 2006). The twenty eight million is to be kept for precautionary purposes (Al-Ali, 2003).
International/ intercultural issues
The Findings of the survey
According from our survey result, 82 % age under 20 to 30 people are interested in character café and 90% of them are female. Majority of interviewees are Chinese and Korean from San Francisco. Most of them go to café with friends once a week, usually to enjoy a cup of coffee and chill time with friends. For 74% people, they would like to go with either friends or colleagues. Only 42 people heard character café (Hello Kitty café/ Snoopy café). Most of people would like to hold party with friends in character café and they prefer it locates within shopping mall. Majority people think the taste and quality of foods. Secondly would be fairytale atmosphere and environment. And most of people express new discount or free taste food would be a great activity.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Character café is not only for customer to relax or to have a drink, but also to remind us of our childhood memories. From exterior to interior design, character café is extraordinary sophisticated and fairy tales. From main courses to disserts, character café shows the best side of food packing of those cartoons. It is definitely a good place to hold birthday party or social gathering with a group of friends or family. Character cafes have been developed rapidly and successfully.