Overlooking Shanghai’s iconic riverside Bund and rubbing shoulders with the city’s most expensive venues, the restaurant is what Yum calls a “lab” where it studies Chinese diners as it looks to bounce back from a lengthy slump in its top market.
“A high-end test kitchen will let Yum test the waters with new menus and concepts and get feedback from more sophisticated diners – helpful if you want to go a bit upmarket,” said Ben Cavender, principal at China Market Research Group.
Yum’s same-store sales at its nearly 7,000 restaurants in China, the firm’s biggest market for revenue and profit, fell 16 percent in the last quarter of 2014, dragged down by back-to-back food scares, rising local competition and a sense its main KFC brand may have fallen out of touch with China’s consumers.
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