All posts by Chopstix

Chopstix to debut in Swindon

Swindon is set to get an authentic taste of the Orient, when CHOPSTIX, the UK’s fast-growing food brand, opens at The Brunel Shopping Centre today, located on the first floor of The Brunel Centre near to the new escalator and opposite House of Fraser, will offer visitors to the popular centre a selection of freshly prepared and cooked chicken and vegetarian dishes accompanied by a choice of noodles or rice. Shoppers will then have the option to take away, or enjoy their meal within the centre’s spacious food hub. Chopstix now has 75 stores across the UK and Ireland – 25 of which are already located within shopping centres and the opening in Swindon marks the continued expansion of the fast-growing brand, which has seen its outlet count double in less than 18 months. Max Hilton Jenvey, the Chief Operating Officer at Chopstix Group notes; “We are pleased to be opening our doors within The Brunel which fits perfectly with our strategy to successfully grow the visibility of Chopstix by increasing our profile within the country’s most popular shopping and retail hubs. We look forward to offering busy Swindon shoppers something new and exciting in the food court, with our value for money and tasty dishes, which also offer a healthier, fresher and faster alternative.” Kevin Gwilliam, General Manager of The Brunel said: “We’re delighted to welcome Chopstix to the centre. Chopstix’s noodle bars are becoming a feature in many shopping destinations. The fact that they have selected Swindon Town Centre and The Brunel for their latest venue is a real vote of confidence in us.”

For further media info, please contact Mary-Jo Devlin, PR Consultant to Chopstix Mob 07795 346970 email: mary-jo@emjaypr.co.uk

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How to Stand Out At Franchise Events

In January, we attended the 2017 British and International Franchise Exhibition in London. We had an amazing time meeting and talking to potential franchisees. While reflecting on the exhibition we realised some key attributes that made some people stand out from the crowd and seem like stronger candidates to work with. Here are some things to be aware for your next event. 

Emphasis on your business background

Business experience is extremely valuable, while it doesn’t have to be in franchising specifically it’s important to have practical business knowledge. This shows that individuals are able to demonstrate leadership, communication skills, and also understandings of business operations

Research, Research, Research

Before coming to an event or exhibition make sure to read up on franchising; not only the process of opening a franchise but also the experience of franchise owners and their day to day workload. Not only does this allow for deeper conversations and networking opportunities but it also shows Chopstix, and other organisations, that you are serious about pursuing a franchise relationship with.

Know what you want

This is the most important part of standing out! Some people come to exhibitions and events without knowing what they want to get out of the event itself. If you’re into the early stages of deciding if franchising is right for you, that’s fine. Come to the event and ask questions about the day to day tasks of owning a franchise and questions that are important to you. If you’re more serious, know the industry that you want to go into, if it’s food services, know if you want to run a quick service restaurant, like Chopstix, or a pub or a sit-down restaurant. There are many different options throughout the franchise industry with a wide variety of upfront costs. Know how much you can spend, how quickly you would to see a return on investment, and where you would like to open. For Chopstix specifically, having or operating a site is preferred during the application process.

Didn’t have a chance to stop by the franchise event? No problem! If you’re interested in finding out more about Chopstix franchise opportunities send an email to franchise@chopstixgroup.com and check out the franchise area of our website here: http://bit.ly/2krNxb8.

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Happy Chinese New Year

The Chopstix Team is excited to celebrate Chinese New Year with you! Unlike the Gregorian calendar, where the new year falls on 1 January every year, the Chinese New Year falls on the date of a new moon which can range from 21 January to 20 February. Festivities begin the night before and continue for fifteen days! This year Chinese New Year starts on 28 January and will commence the zodiac year of the Rooster will begin. In the Chinese Zodiac, every year is represented by one of twelve zodiac animals, past years of the Rooster were in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, and 2005. Those born in these years are also known as roosters and are believed to display certain traits, such being as active, amusing, loyal, talkative, and charming.

It is a tradition for Red Envelopes to be given out on Chinese New Year, other holidays and special events throughout China. These envelopes usually contain a monetary gift, but their significance goes beyond what’s inside the colour red, which is used throughout many decorations, clothing and symbols on Chinese New Year, signifies good luck and was believed to ward off evil spirits for the upcoming year. This year, in celebration of Chinese New Year, Chopstix will be giving away red envelopes as a sign of good fortune and prosperity!

 

RED ENVELOPE SALES PROMOTION  – TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Promotion only valid at participating restaurants, while stock lasts.
  • Promotion starts 28 January 2017 and ends 31 March 2017.
  • Red envelope is only provided with the purchase of a drink with your meal
  • Prize must be redeemed on your next visit with the purchase of any meal (a meal constitutes a small, medium or large noodle or rice box with topping)
  • Food or drink prize voucher must be used before 30 April 2017
  • Voucher cash value 0.0001 pence.
  • No cash alternatives offered.
  • The promoter reserves the right to withdraw the promotion at any time without notice.
  • Chopstix staff, suppliers and partners are excluded from participating in this promotion and are not entitled to any of the prizes
  • To redeem iPad prize contact ipad@chopstixgroup.com
Survey Prawn Crackers

Customer Satisfaction Survey 2016

We are committed to providing you with the best Chopstix experience possible, so we welcome your comments. Results will be treated confidentially.

Fill out our survey below and you will receive a free side of prawn crackers.

Create your own user feedback survey

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Cracking open the history of the fortune cookie

Despite popular beliefs, fortune cookies are an American invention. There are many theories, and much speculation surrounding the mysterious origin. They originated in California, but who the actual inventor was, has continued to be a matter of debate.
One history of the fortune cookie claims that David Jung, a Chinese immigrant living in Los Angeles and founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company, invented the cookie in 1918. Due to his concern with the poor, he felt obliged to pass out free cookies on the streets. Each cookie contained a strip of paper with an inspirational Bible scripture.

Another history claims that the fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara. An anti-Japanese mayor fired him from his job, but later he was reinstated. Grateful to those who had stood by him, he created a cookie in 1914 that included a thank you note inside.

In 1983, San Francisco’s legal Court of Historical Review held a mock trial to determine the origins of the fortune cookie. Unsurprisingly, the judge ruled in favour of San Francisco. Among the evidence was a fortune cookie whose message read: “S.F. Judge who rules for L.A. Not Very Smart Cookie.” However, this ruling was denounced soon after.
Desserts were not traditionally part of Chinese cuisine, and the cookies thus offered Americans something familiar with an exotic flair. Fortune cookies then became common in Chinese restaurants after World War II.
As for predicting the future, no, fortune cookies do not predict whether you’re going to bump into a tall handsome stranger. Unless they’re telling you that you’re going to meet at Chopstix. Because then those special powers of foresight are spot on!

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How to use chopstix

First step is to take one chopstick, hold between thumb and index finger of right hand. Extend right arm up over head and calmly call out to the waitress, “Excuse me ma’am, could you please bring me a fork?”
Often foreigners in Asia are complimented on how they use chopsticks. Many, however, are not actually using them properly. Then again, neither are most Asian people.
But can you spot the proper way to hold chopsticks? In the pictures below you can see different ways of holding chopsticks, but only one way is the right way. Can you tell which?*

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There’s more to chopsticks than meets the eye. From their humble beginnings as cooking utensils to paper-wrapped bamboo sets at the sushi counter.

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The use of chopsticks has been a part of Chinese food culture. In ancient times, chopsticks were called ‘Zhu’. Our ancestors liked to steam or boil food, where it was difficult for them to use spoons to dip vegetables in the soup. Thus, the ‘Zhu’ were born.
Chopsticks represent the ability to make do with minimal resources. They are a cultural icon in many Asian countries. Their simplicity is a direct reflection of the ancient maxim, “less is more”.
However, there are some taboos that you must pay great attention to, or you are at risk of being laughed at.
Firstly, don’t use them to noisily hit the side of your bowl or plate; Chinese people believe only beggars would do this. Secondly, when you use them, don’t stretch out your index finger, or use them to point to others. This would be regarded as a kind of accusation. And lastly, don’t insert them vertically into the bowls or dishes. Chinese people do this only when they burn incense to sacrifice the dead.
So what do you do?
Read our article, and become a chopsticks pro, or remain boring and ask for a Knife and Fork.

*Picture 6

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Curries from around the World

Curries have established themselves as a staple Asian dish, with many diverse flavours coming from various countries across the world. Different regions all have their unique curry, so a curry’s flavour and cooking technique is heavily dependent on where it’s from!

The word curry actually derives from Western culture to refer to a variety of dishes originating in South Asian countries. The name is adopted from the Tamil word “kari” meaning “relish for rice.” Curries contain a versatile mix of spices, fresh herbs and chillies, and the proportions of these ingredients vary depending on national, regional, religious or family traditions.

A curry blend usually comprises of turmeric, coriander, cumin and hot chili peppers, but it can also include a variety of other spices including cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cardamom, tamarind and fenugreek.

The yellow-orange powder that you might find in stores here is commercially prepared with a mix of spices like coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek and chili peppers. It gets its yellow colour from the turmeric. Many of these same ingredients closely reflect garam masala, a spice mix used in North India.

While Indian dishes tend to use more dry spices, Thai cuisine often uses curry paste and fresh herbs. Thai curries are cooked for shorter period of time and typically include vegetables and chicken. Thai curries deliver the heat upfront because of those fresh ingredients. Thai curry paste usually is made from fresh chilies, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, with spices such as cumin seeds, coriander seeds and turmeric.

Chopstix offers a variety of Oriental flavours, so there is something for everyone’s taste on our menu. All our dishes are prepared freshly on site by our talented chefs using authentic ingredients and spices. Can you handle the heat? Why not try a curry on your next visit!ChineseCurryChicken

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Switching from the Corporate World to Franchising

Bored at work? Looking for more responsibilities and challenges? Not following your true passions?

Becoming an entrepreneur could be your answer!

Making the change

Many are wary of trading the stability of corporate life and stepping out of their comfort zone. If you’re looking for a safe alternative, franchising is a great way to become your own boss. Choosing an existing franchise that already has a proven business concept and track record makes this transition even more secure. You can look at the performances of other outlets and then calculate your own potential profitability.

Did you know that approximately 3 out of every 4 franchisees are former employees from the corporate world? You could be the next one!

Starting from scratch 

You don’t need a wealth of business experience to become a franchisee. What is essential however is that your chosen franchise is one you are interested in and fully committed to. Consider the reasons for your decision and make sure they are valid ones. For example, going into business just because you can’t find another job is not advisable. Once you’ve partnered up with a franchisor, you’ll be taught their own specific methods and procedures of working. It’s a great way to learn new skills and you don’t have to worry about being an expert in the field!

Accompanied step by step

With franchising you won’t be alone. One of the advantages of owning a franchise is the support of the franchisor. Whether it’s finding the ideal location, staff training or promotions, the company is by your side to support you. The franchisor provides you with all the know-how in terms of working methods, management, administration, and more, meaning you’ll have all the right tools at your fingertips in order to run your store successfully.

At Chopstix we support entrepreneurs and encourage people’s bravery to take on new challenges. Thinking of making the switch? We’re right behind you! 

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New Chopstix Noodle Bars!

These are exciting times for Chopstix. We’ve taken another big step this year in becoming the fastest growing oriental quick service restaurant chain in the UK, having opened another 9 sites since the beginning of April – 6 of them with our new franchise partner, Applegreen PLC, in the Republic of Ireland. The latter marks the first of our international ventures, so even if you’re reading this from down under – don’t worry, we might see each other one day!

Here’s some information about where we’ve recently opened:

No locations found.

 

It doesn’t stop there – we’re planning on opening three new sites in the UK, namely Aldershot, Bedford and Washington by the end of this year. Make sure you have your chopsticks ready!

And in case that’s not enough, we are targeting 300 more site openings by 2019, so there’ll be plenty more places for you to enjoy our delicious, freshly cooked oriental fusion food – hopefully just a wok away from where you are!

We look forward to seeing you at Chopstix soon! 再见!


To find out more about Chopstix’s locations and opening times, click here

Stay tuned on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on our future stores.