AUTHENTIC BEIJING CREPES ARRIVE IN HONG KONG
“Starting a company is extremely fast and easy in Hong Kong and the capital requirement is manageable”
Brian Goldberg, Founder and CEO of Mr Bing
An American banker studying in Beijing developed such a passion for jianbing — crepes cooked Beijing-style — that he decided to make and sell them in Hong Kong
After living and working in Hong Kong for more than six years, Brian Goldberg decided it was time to venture into the fastpaced food and beverage (F&B) business. He founded his own company called Mr Bing, and started operations on Wellington Street, in the heart of the main Central dining area, in December last year.
When the business became a roaring success, he quit banking altogether to become a full time entrepreneur.
“Starting a company is extremely fast and easy in Hong Kong. It takes a lot of planning getting the financing and operations right. As CEO it is vital to find good people to help you. Luckily Hong Kong is an excellent place to find such talent,” Goldberg, who is Mr Bing’s Founder and CEO, said.
Readily Accessible Resources for Startups
The store immediately became a magnet for media attention and drew so many customers that they had to queue outside the shop. Goldberg invested in a second store, started events catering, and hired management staff with multinational F&B experience. The second store will open in Wanchai in July this year.
“The resources to help startups are readily accessible. The legal structure and bilingual environment are very conducive to business and help international companies feel at home. The capital requirement to start a business is manageable and it’s a very clean and efficient place to start,” he added.
Goldberg said he was now receiving many enquiries from overseas about franchising Mr Bing’s model. He felt such success was the result of a genuine belief in what he was doing and good planning. His advice to other startups is, “don’t quit your job until you have a solid plan”.
“You should have the passion for what you would like to do and do it whole heartedly. It’s an amazing experience for me becoming an entrepreneur for the first time after 12 years in the corporate world. I’ve learnt a lot of skills which can apply to my startup business,” he said.
A Supportive Partner
InvestHK has been working closely with Goldberg from the beginning. “The department has been very supportive of Mr Bing, helping us find the right people to get started, in property, operations, manufacturing, or design and packaging and so on,” Goldberg said. InvestHK also provided public relations support to help make the launch successful.
With an ambition to export Beijing food culture overseas, Goldberg is mapping out the future of the Mr Bing franchise. “The F&B business here is a cutthroat one and rents are high. But if you can survive here, you can survive anywhere,” he said.
Fast Facts: Mr Bing
Founded by an American banker who studied in Beijing
An F&B startup specialised in authentic Beijing street crepes
- Opened in December 2012 with plans for expansion