From orphans to disabilities…’Nevertheless’ 140 chains became the ‘Chinese restaurant king’ [사장의 맛]

On the morning of the 10th, in front of the Yatap branch of ‘Bobaebanjeom’, a Chinese restaurant in Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do. A clean shaven man approached him with a limp on his right leg. It was Kim Jin-hyeok (41), the president of the place we were supposed to meet that day. Bobae Banjeom Yatap branch is the No. 1 Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood with monthly sales of 250 million won. Starting with the first store in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul in 2014, there are 140 stores nationwide as of this month.

Growing up as a child without parents, she was disabled in an accident before she turned 30. But something like that. In the place where he was fed and raised, he also made his adult life. it’s a chinese house

Bobae Restaurant CEO Kim Jin-hyeok/Reporter Park Sang-hoon
◇ “Fill your stomach with tap water”…Staying alive

– Do you have a deep relationship with Chinese restaurants?

“I grew up not knowing the faces of my parents. Since I was 5 years old, my ‘aunt’, not my family, took care of me, but the circumstances were not good, so I went to school literally filling my stomach with tap water. When I was 21, my aunt died of liver cancer. I enlisted as if I was running away, but after being discharged, I had nowhere to go. While delivering from a Chinese restaurant, I slept on the shop table at night. “

– What was your dream as a child?

“When I was a student, my dream was to go to a good university. In the CSAT, I got the grades to go to Kyunghee University’s Department of Business Administration, but 3.5 million tuition was earned at the time. It was ridiculous money for me. I was about to give up. But my friend’s father, who went to Chonnam National University law school, paid 1 million won for tuition, telling me to go to Chonnam National University Business Administration Department. When I went to college, I wanted to be an accountant. I delivered goods in supermarkets during the semester and rode a fishing boat during the holidays. But I couldn’t study like that. With the intention of saving money, I took a leave of absence and got a job in a Chinese restaurant.”

‘Bobae Jjajangmyeon’ in Bobae Banjeom. It costs 6500 won per bowl. Bobaebanjeom has a variety of menus such as cream jjambbong and Chinese bibimbap, but the basic menu, jajangmyeon, is always a best seller in sales./Bobaebanjeom

– How was your work after taking a period of leave?

“Except for two days off a month, I slept four hours every day. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to deliver 200 copies of the Chosun Ilbo and delivered food from a Chinese restaurant for 13 hours during the day. I saved up to 40 million won in two years by saving my entire monthly salary of 1.8 million won.”

– You must have saved money, have you started studying again?

“no. Instead, because I had money, I couldn’t go back to school. I went to Guangzhou, China with the decision to make a lot of money. I did a wholesale clothing business selling clothes made in China to Dongdaemun. In two and a half years, it was raised to 150 million won, but it was a series of accidents throughout the business. Partners take money and disappear, or when they receive it, many products defective products coming out. Also, as online sales became active, factories began to export directly and fell behind in terms of price competition. I eventually closed my business and returned to Korea. I became back to the Chinese restaurant.”

A view of the shop at Bobae Banjeom Office Suwon Yeongtong-gu. Located on the second floor of a building in Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, this shop is packed with nearby office workers every lunchtime./ Courtesy of Bobaebanjeom
◇ Disability acquired from a traffic accident…”Nevertheless”

-Why did you come back to the Chinese restaurant?

“It was something I knew best. With the aim of starting a business, we not only deliver, but also cut knives, remove noodles, and fried meat in the kitchen. Then, I entered a food distribution company and analyzed the business areas of successful customers (Chinese restaurants), taking notes on the method of operation and the shape of the meals. Even at this time, I ran two jobs to raise seed money. We delivered between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm, and from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am.”

– You worked very hard.

“yes. I worked hard with the aim of ‘starting a business at the age of 30’, but in December, at the age of 29, a month before turning 30, I was hit by a drunk driving car while delivering goods with night. The doctor said, “You may need to have your leg amputated.” I had three major surgeries at Kyung Hee University Hospital. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom by myself, so I had to deal with feces and urine in the hospital room. I forgot most of the money I saved. I even thought about making an extreme choice, thinking, ‘What am I doing living like this?'”

Image of Kim Jin-hyeok when he was delivering goods at a Chinese restaurant before he got into a car accident./ Courtesy of Kim Jin-hyeok

– I must have really felt like blaming fate.

“Why is this only happening to me, and I thought I want to stop now. I met him in a restaurant and even told my wife, with whom I had worked hard, to start with the money I had saved. And I tried to end my own life. Gaston, I lived with my body delivering newspapers, but with a body that couldn’t even walk, I thought, ‘My life is over’.”

-How did you get up again?

“After living as a cripple for four to five months, I improved my health to the point where I could use a wheelchair. Little by little I came to my senses. I read many books about people who overcame adversity. Watching the story of a person like Professor Lee Ji-seon who did not give up even after suffering full body burns, I had a dream of ‘I want to become a proof of hope’. From then on, I lived with the word ‘however’. I wanted to show that I was successful despite my orphanage, despite my poverty, despite my disability.”

-amazing. When did you start your business?

“When I was 31, I bought a Chinese restaurant called ‘Hwanggung’ in Myeonmok-dong, Jungnang-gu, Seoul. At the time of the acquisition, there were three employees, but by growing the business mainly in supply, the number of employees increased to 17. Motorcycles, staff uniforms, and distribution sheets were completely changed, and there was extensive publicity. Its monthly sales rose from 50 million won to 120 million won. After that, I opened the first Bobaebanjeom in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, and the sales, which were then 30 million won per month, are now about 180 million won.”

Part 2 continues the story of CEO Kim Jin-hyeok, who operated three Chinese restaurants in Seongbuk-gu until 2019, and became a franchise representative for over 100 stores in two and a half years.

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