Imagine the hysteria when the first McDonald’s or KFC opened in China decades ago, or the frenzy when a new Krispy Kreme opens in a new city. Well get ready, because Little Sheep Hotpot is about to open in Flushing, Queens.
Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but for me this is a huge deal.
Little Sheep, for those who are not familiar, is the most prominent chain restaurant in China. Founded in 1999, it’s since expanded to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, and the West Coast of the United States. Last year, it was acquired by Yum! Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) for over $500 million. During my recent trip to Cupertino, I went to Little Sheep for lunch, and found the place packed with people wearing Apple badges on their neck and belt. It’s quite popular.
Now they’re finally coming to the East Coast. New York hot pot lovers rejoice!
Interestingly, for the past decade or so there’s been a knock-off restaurant on Main Street, with the same logo and same Chinese name. Earlier this year they finally changed their name and logo. Feeling threatened by Yum! Brand’s corporate lawyers? Who knows.
For more information, check out their website here: http://www.littlesheephotpot.com