Flashfood.Shop: Self-Service Retailing of Fresh Meals in China
(8 pages of text)
On April 1, 2017, Flashfood.Shop, a new brand in self-service retailing of fresh meals, was founded in Dalian, Liaoning province, China. The self-service retail platform provided office workers with affordable and convenient fresh meals 24 hours per day. Flashfood.Shop used intelligent self-catering machines as its physical sales terminals and it used an intelligent self-catering system as its online service interface. By the end of June 2018, Flashfood.Shop had launched 51 catering machines, where customers could buy fresh meals. The company had 14 catering suppliers, 135 different types of catering products, and over 500,000 customers. However, along with its success, Flashfood.Shop incurred a loss in five consecutive quarters. After its establishment, the only source of income for the company was the sale of its catered products. However, operating costs were high due to the instability of the hardware and software systems, as well as low operating efficiency and other factors. Faced with these issues, the start-up’s founder and general manager was wondering how to resolve his company’s ongoing losses.
This case is suitable for a graduate-level course on business models. The case introduces students to the development of fresh meal retailing in China, and helps them understand the business model of a self-service fresh meals retailer. After completion of this case, students will be able to
- understand the value proposition of the business model for the self-service retail of fresh meals;
- discuss the key resources of this business model;
- analyze the key process of this business model; and
- master the business model’s profit formula.
Accommodation & Food Services
China, Small, 2018
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