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Haidilao International Holding Ltd.
FoundedMarch 20, 1994; 29 years ago (1994-03-20)
FounderZhang Yong
Number of locations
Area served
China (Mainland), Hong Kong, Macau, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates
Total assetsCN¥20.61 billion (2019)
Number of employees
Haidilao International Holding Ltd.
Simplified Chinese海底捞国际控股有限公司
Traditional Chinese海底撈國際控股有限公司
Haidilao Hot Pot
Simplified Chinese海底捞火锅
Traditional Chinese海底撈火鍋
A Haidilao restaurant in Suzhou, China
Haidilao self service sauce bar.
Food layout at Haidilao

Haidilao International Holding Ltd., operating as Haidilao (Chinese: 海底捞), is a chain of hot pot restaurants founded in Jianyang, Sichuan, China in 1994.[2] Its restaurants typically operate under the name Haidilao Hot Pot. It is the largest hotpot chain in China and has expanded overseas. As of 2022, Haidilao had around 1,300 restaurants in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, with its overseas unit, Super Hi International, running 97 outlets around the world, including in Singapore, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.[3][4] Their annual revenue is estimated to be more than CN¥10 billion.[citation needed]


In Mandarin, haidilao can be translated as deep-sea fishing, or literally "scooping the bottom of the ocean."[5] The origin of this term comes from a Chinese idiom, hǎidǐlāoyuè (海底捞月, lit. "fishing for the moon"), a metaphor for a hopeless endeavor.[6] This idiom was originally derived from the Chinese Taoist poem Song of Enlightenment (永嘉证道歌).[6] The term haidilao is also used by mahjong players to refer to a rare and lucky situation when a player wins with the last tile.[7][8]


In March 1994, Zhang Long opened the first Haidilao hot pot restaurant along with three other founders with 8,000 Yuan in Jianyang, Sichuan Province.[9] Haidilao grew competitively with an emphasis on customer service.[9] After five years, Haidilao started to expand beyond Sichuan to other provinces like Xi'an, Shanxi province, and other parts of the world.[9]

In 2018, Haidilao Hot Pot served more than 160 million customers, with an average daily table turnover rate (i.e. the number of parties hosted per table per day) of 5.0. Haidilao Hot Pot has more than 36 million VIP members and 60,000+ staff.[10]

Haidilao and Panasonic jointly launched a "smart" restaurant in 2018.[11] This smart restaurant relies on Panasonic's robotics and image recognition technology to achieve full automation of the kitchen.[11] After the customer orders the food with tablet computer (iPad), the system in the kitchen can automatically recognize the dishes and puts them into the tray.[11]

In 2019, Haidilao opened the first robot-aided hotpot restaurant in Beijing.[12]

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Haidilao closed all stores in mainland China on January 26, 2020, to decrease the spread of the virus. As a result, Haidilao recorded significant losses. [13] A similar hotpot chain restaurant called Xiabu Xiabu also closed around 20% of its total stores as a response to the decreased consumer demand during COVID. On March 12, 2020, with cases decreasing in China, Haidilao began reopening stores.[13]

However, even after reopening, business was slow: patrons chose other options like takeaway over the communal hot pot dining experience.[14] Haidilao also faced backlash for increasing prices to offset pandemic losses,[15][16] and the amount of people restaurants could serve was limited by government pandemic restrictions.[14]

In 2021, as part of an expansion plan, Haidilao opened 421 new restaurants, but it also closed 276 in an effort to improve the operations and profitability of existing stores.[14][3]

In 2022, in the wake of China's zero-COVID policy, Haidilao's shares fell more than 60%. Haidilao is focusing on expanding its international presence, spinning off its overseas unit, Super Hi International.[3]

Global expansion[edit]

Haidilao branch in Sunway Pyramid, Malaysia

Haidilao has more than 180 chains globally, more than 20,000 staff, and an annual turnover of 5 billion RMB (almost US$0.77 billion).[17]

By the end of June 30, 2020, Haidilao Hot Pot had 935 stores in operation.[18] In addition to the many locations in China, the company serves the areas of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan.[19]

The company opened its first restaurant outside of mainland China in Clarke Quay, Singapore, in 2012. This was followed by its first US outlet, which opened in Westfield Santa Anita (California) in September 2013.[20][21] Haidilao continued to develop its network abroad, entering the South Korean market in 2014, the Taiwanese and Japanese markets in 2015, the Hong Kong market in 2017, and the Canadian market in 2018.[18]


In 2008, Haidilao planned to increase $600 million to $700 million in the Hong Kong IPO which could increase the popularity in the global market.[22]

In 2017, Haidilao's net profit rose 22% to 1.19 billion yuan, and revenue increased 36% to 10.64 billion yuan.[19]

In 2018, Haidilao raised nearly US$1 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO).[23] The IPO figures show that even though Haidilao faced some safety issues over the past two years, investors are still feeling positive of Haidilao growth in the future.[23]

Founded as a privately held company, Haidilao International Holding Ltd. filed to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong in 2018, aiming to raise up to US$700 million for further expansion.[19][24]

As of 2018, Haidilao's IPO price of 17.80 Hong Kong dollars a share makes its market capitalization $12 billion.[25]


Haidilao enforces strict rules when selecting food suppliers.[26] There are more than 20 dipping sauces on Haidilao's self-service condiment table. Side dishes like peanuts, cucumbers, and fresh food are always provided. Customers can select up to four different soup bases in one pot.[27]

Some Haidilao restaurants have automated kitchens with robot chefs to increase efficiency.[28][29] Some Haidilao restaurants have robots for food delivery.[30][29]

In 2013, Haidilao developed a new new videoconference service where customers could see each other by using video conference facilities and remotely videoconference with customers at other Haidilao restaurants.[31]

"Hi to send" service[edit]

Haidilao created the “Hi to send” delivery service in 2003.[17] Once a customer orders food to be delivered, staff will send an electromagnetic pan, an induction cooker, and a wiring board to customers’ home, where they will also help the customers divide their food.[17][32] They wait outside until customers finish their food, after which they will take away the kitchenware.[17][31] Since 2013, Haidilao is open for 24 hours a day and offers service of delivery food.[32]

In-person dining[edit]

Every Haidilao restaurant has a waiting room for customers, some of which offer additional services such as nail salon or children's play areas.[17] Additional free before-meal services and amenities include a car wash, fruits, snacks, drinks, and board games.[27]

During the meal, staff offer diners aprons and mobile phone bags, and provide small hairpins for long-haired customers.[27] If customers are celebrating a birthday party or wedding ceremony at Haidilao, they get a special gift.[17][27] While dining, the restaurant puts on face-changing and hand-pulled noodles performances.[33]

Customers are given snacks, fruit, mints, and toothpicks after their meal.[27]

Haidilao hot pot table.


Kitchen hygiene[edit]

On August 25, 2017, kitchen hygiene problems were reported from the Legal Evening News in the restaurants of Beijing Jinsong and Taiyanggong.[9] A video of a rat lying on a sink was uploaded to Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.[9] After three and a half hours, Haidilao posted an apology letter about the hygiene issues.[9][34]

Haidilao indicated that all stores needed to have a “bright kitchen”, meaning that the kitchen is now visible to all customers thanks to the installment of transparent glass and opening up of the space.[34]

The Beijing Municipal Food and Drug Administration had two meetings with the representatives of this Haidilao's hygiene problem and required Haidilao to make rectification to their cleanliness, resulting in the requirement that all stores in Beijing would need to be inspected within one month.[35]

Price hikes[edit]

On March 12, 2020, Haidilao reopened many stores after the COVID-19 situation in mainland China improved.[15][13] However, customers were shocked by the price hikes; some even stated online that they would not go back to Haidilao again.[15] After customer complaints, a Haidilao representative stated that price increases would be limited to 6%, with each restaurant being able to define their own prices.[15]

Porn video exposure crisis[edit]

On the afternoon of January 5, 2019, a Haidilao restaurant located in Wuhan Great Ocean mall suddenly played a pornographic video on the restaurants’ TV screen.[36] One customer shared an image of the video on Weibo, where it was retweeted more than 240 million times. Staff immediately turned off the screen after noticing the video. On January 6, Haidilao posted an official apology on Weibo.

Awards and certifications[edit]

Haidilao Hot Pot has won more than ten titles and honors such as “Advanced Enterprise”, “Consumer satisfaction unit” and “Famous Hot Pot” in Sichuan, Shanxi, Henan and other provinces in China. From 2008 to 2012, it won the title of “Top 10 Hot Pot Restaurants” by the public comment website for 5 consecutive years in China. At the same time, it won the honorary title of “Top 100 Chinese Catering Enterprises” for 5 consecutive years.[26] Haidilao became a successful business case of Harvard Business School in 2009.[17] On May 27, 2011, “Haidilao” was awarded “China Famous Brand”. From 2007 to 2018, the hot pot restaurant won the "China Top 100 Catering Companies" for 12 consecutive years.[18] Haidilao won the “Best Hot Pot”, “Outstanding Service,” or “Outstanding Chinese Restaurant of the Year.” prizes in magazines such as Time out and Beijinger in 2018.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "海底捞".
  2. ^ "Hotpot giant Haidilao set to enter Hong Kong soon". China Daily. February 17, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Ho-him, Chan (July 14, 2022). "China hotpot chain Haidilao spins off overseas unit". Financial Times. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  4. ^ "Store Locator". Super Hi International: Haidilao. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  5. ^ Ambler, Pamela (October 3, 2018). "Hot Pot Hospitality: Haidilao Chain Creates The World's Richest Restaurant Magnate". Forbes. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "海底捞月". ZDIC (in Chinese). Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "Zhang Yong". Week in China. October 19, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  8. ^ "Spice of success". China Daily. March 4, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Shu, Chengli; Zheng, Shaoting (2019), China Europe International Business School (ed.), "Haidilao's Crisis Management: Threats, Opportunities and Corporate Values", China-Focused Cases, Singapore: Springer Singapore, pp. 183–194, doi:10.1007/978-981-13-2706-3_10, ISBN 978-981-13-2705-6, S2CID 170012235, retrieved January 29, 2023 {{citation}}: |editor-last= has generic name (help)
  10. ^ "海底捞年收入做到 100 亿,一个以市场扩张为战略的火锅店会有什么风险_商业_好奇心日报". www.qdaily.com. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "海底捞和松下联合推出智能餐厅-新华网". www.xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "Robots staff China's top hotpot chain". BBC News. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Zhang, Bonnie (March 27, 2020). "Hot Pot Chain Haidilao Reveals 2019 Financial Results, Looks To Further Expand in 2020". Pandaily. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Lau, Yvonne (November 9, 2021). "A hot pot chain opened 850 new restaurants in the pandemic. What could go wrong?". Fortune. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c d "Haidilao hikes prices due to coronavirus - China.org.cn". www.china.org.cn. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  16. ^ Grigorian, Greg (April 13, 2020). "Haidilao Apologizes for Price Hike After Reopening". Pandaily. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
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  19. ^ a b c Chiu, Joanne (September 10, 2018). "Hong Kong's Hot-Pot IPO: A Chinese Chain Serving Pig Brains and Giving Manicures". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "Hai Di Lao, Chinese Hot Pot Chain, Plans To Bring 'Noodle Dance' To The U.S." Huffpost. Huffington Post. May 22, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  21. ^ Burkitt, Laurie (May 22, 2013). "Chinese Hot Pot Chain Hai Di Lao Makes Move to U.S." Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Lehrmann, Teagan (2015), "Catering Business, Off-Site", The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., doi:10.4135/9781483346304.n69, ISBN 978-1-4522-4301-6, retrieved November 17, 2020
  23. ^ a b "Chinese hotpot chain Haidilao raises nearly $1 billion in IPO". CNBC. September 18, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  24. ^ Zhu, Julie. "Haidilao to tap demand for Chinese hotpot with up to $700 million..." Reuters. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  25. ^ Chiu, Joanne (September 18, 2018). "Chinese Hot-Pot Chain Serves Up $963 Million IPO; Haidilao's $12 billion market capitalization is bigger than that of Domino's Pizza". Wall Street Journal – via ProQuest.
  26. ^ a b c "HAIDILAO: TAKING CHINESE HOTPOT TO THE NEXT LEVEL". Hotpot Ambassador. November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c d e Zhang, Zhiyuan; Xu, Lijuan (July 2016). "The research of service innovation on the base of catering service process — Taking HaiDiLao as an example". 2016 International Conference on Logistics, Informatics and Service Sciences (LISS). Sydney, Australia: IEEE: 1–6. doi:10.1109/LISS.2016.7854470. ISBN 978-1-5090-1102-5. S2CID 18702518.
  28. ^ Feng, Venus (April 16, 2019). "Spicy hotpot has made Chinese couple $7.8b richer this year". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Bandoim, Lana (October 26, 2018). "Beijing's First Restaurant With Fully Automated Kitchen Opens". Forbes. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  30. ^ Wang, Jing; Cheng, Lijuan (July 2012). "The relationships among perceived quality, customer satisfaction and customer retention: An empirical research on Haidilao restaurant". Icsssm12. IEEE: 749–754. doi:10.1109/icsssm.2012.6252340. ISBN 978-1-4577-2025-3. S2CID 21408534.
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  32. ^ a b Chen, Chen; Shen, Huawen; Fan, Daisy X.F. (July 3, 2015). "Hai Di Lao Hot Pot: From Employee Stimulation to Service Innovation". Journal of China Tourism Research. 11 (3): 337–348. doi:10.1080/19388160.2015.1082526. ISSN 1938-8160. S2CID 153842151.
  33. ^ Chen, Elsie; 黄瑞黎2018年9月26日 (September 27, 2018). "海底捞赴港上市,它能征服海外食客吗?". 纽约时报中文网 (in Chinese). Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Wu, Jing (2018). "Figuring out Zhangyong's Leadership Style by His Way of Handling the Crisis in Haidilao Jinsong and Sun Palace Stores". Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Humanities Science and Society Development (ICHSSD 2017). Paris, France: Atlantis Press. doi:10.2991/ichssd-17.2018.64. ISBN 978-94-6252-440-8.
  35. ^ China-focused cases : selected winners of the CEIBS global case contest. CEIBS Case Center, Zhong Ou guo ji gong shang xue yuan. Singapore. 2019. pp. 183–194. ISBN 978-981-13-2706-3. OCLC 1089796541.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  36. ^ "Whoops! Porn Surprises Diners at Wuhan Hot Pot Restaurant". That's Online. Retrieved November 18, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]