Ivey Publishing
Din Tai Fung: The Art of the Dumpling
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16 pages (10 pages of text)
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Case (Field)
AWARD WINNING CASE – This case won the Best Teaching Case Studies Award at the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI), 2015. In 2014, as one of the most well-known Taiwanese cuisine brands, Din Tai Fung operated more than 100 restaurants around the world. Attracted by its signature xialongbao (soup dumpling), long queues of customers at Din Tai Fung’s storefront were a common sight. Requests for partnerships for global expansion were constantly arriving. Customer feedback from overseas, however, suggested a notable gap in service quality between the overseas and Taiwanese branches. The demand for support by overseas branches had also surged significantly due to the fast pace of growth in recent years. The company’s chief executive officer had deferred his plan to open the 10th branch in Taiwan. Nevertheless, plans to open new branches in overseas markets were enthusiastically evaluated by existing partners. Two new potential partnership offers from Dubai and the Philippines were being aggressively pursued. What was the best way to cope with the increasing number of requests for support from overseas branches and to ensure high quality? Should Din Tai Fung approve the two overseas offers for partnership that seemed promising? What was the best overseas expansion strategy?
Learning Objective:
This case details how a small, local, traditional Chinese xialongbao eating house evolved to become an internationally known Michelin-starred restaurant operating around the world. Students have the opportunity to work with real customer arrival and service data to develop analytical insights (e.g., reducing the number of customers waiting by improving operational efficiency). The case can be used in undergraduate or MBA programs within operations management or service management courses with an emphasis on innovative services and global expansion. After completion of this case, students should be able to:

  • Highlight the challenges of maintaining a high level of food and service quality.

  • Study key operational decisions and the potential utility of data analytics.

  • Analyze the critical success factors and operational capabilities required.

  • Examine the concept of covenantal leadership.
  • Discuss the potential challenges of expanding a business into other countries.
Operations Management,  International
Accommodation & Food Services
Taiwan, Large, 2014
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Associated Materials
Translations: Simplified Chinese (13 pages) , Traditional Chinese (13 pages)
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