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EMAILED ON December 7, 2017 BY Lindsey Quinn

PF Chang’s to open in China as an “American bistro”

That’s a bold move, Chang. The Asian sit-down casual chain will open its first Chinese location in Shanghai early next year, and if Chinese diners want a culturally accurate dining experience, they can GET OUT.

Instead, Chang’s is sticking to their dubiously authentic menu of lettuce wraps and “Chang’s Chicken,” capitalizing on the “American bistro” concept they say tested well with Chinese consumers.

“If you want a classic Japanese sushi experience, you’re not going to come to us,” CEO Michael Osanloo told Business Insider. “But if you want some amazing rolls… we rock at that.”

The cockroach of sit-down casual

While the chain restaurant industry has seen 6 back-to-back quarters of declines, PF Chang’s seems to be miraculously immune to the “sit-down casual massacre.” 

In fact, they’ve been on the upswing for the past 2 years, outperforming competitors’ sales by 75.6% for Q1 of 2017.

Now, they’re hoping their momentum can slingshot them into the hearts of international eaters in countries like China, Bolivia, and Pakistan in 2018.

The track record for American chains in their “homelands” isn’t great

Taco Bell has tried (and failed) to take off in Mexico multiple times since 1992.

The first south-of-the-border Bells shut down less than 2 years after opening, and even after TB embraced their American roots, diners roasted the menu with 1-star reviews, like: “They are not tacos, they are trash.”

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