After among others McDonald’s and Burger King, Shanghai will soon get another fast-food hamburger chain: Carl’s Jr. The first store will be in the Raffles Shopping Mall on People’s Square, a convenient 10 minute walk from my office. The exact location is on the north side of the food court on the B1 floor, and the signs there indicate that the store will open this month already.
But I will probably wait a few weeks before trying out whether their first Chinese store is as good as their US restaurants: I still remember the huge lines at Burger King when it first opened a store in Shanghai (waiting time > 30 min!). I like Carl’s Jr. better than the current chains, but I hope the next fast-food restaurant to come to China will be In-n-Out, in my opinion by far the best hamburger chain in the US.
I wonder why I don't see any Chinese restaurants (no need calling them fast-food, because they are all fast) going abroad. I often go to Coco park in Shenzhen and we have a small food court there. The food is displayed at counters organized by cooking style and you can just pick from the plastic models what you would like to eat. Food is always done in under 5 minutes. This would be perfect in the Netherlands, but I never saw it.
Don't expect an In n Out in Shanghai anytime soon. In n Out is family owned and has famously refused to expand beyond a 500-mile radius of its central distribution center in Baldwin Park, CA. They don't freeze any of their ingredients, which is why they restrict the distance and for quality control reasons, they don't want to open a second center. These articles provide a little more backgrond:
@thijs The whole Asian food court concept does not exist in Holland (and in most other Western countries), people are all expected to sit in and eat from the same restaurant. I see no reason why it should not work actually, good point.
@Caliboy Thanks for the links. Pity that In n Out is not going to expand any further, but I can understand their strict quality controls. That's probably what makes their food so tasty.