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Hangzhou Expat
Popcorn Sutton

Are foreign restaurant companies clueless? Signage in English.

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For the last few months, I have moved to a new area of town, sort of northeast Hangzhou, around Daguan, near the Aoshan Supermarket. On Monday, I really wanted some Burger King and found a store in my neighborhood on the bus route nearby, so off I went. This is a shopping area with a shopping mall and whatnot with all the regular stuff these places have, a Starbucks, the western fast food place, other joints, and a Papa John's Pizza.

What I found humorous and puzzling was that there is signage over their door in English. It reads...


DELIVERY 400.555.5555 (not the real phone number but you get it.)

I went, huh? Why would they have that in English, especially in an area of town where I dare say that 98 percent of people who walk by it, if not more than 99.5 percent couldn't read what it says. Since this is CHINA and not an English speaking country. Where people like myself who are English speaking foreigners probably make up less than 0.00001 of the immediate area, if that.

Seems to me that they build these outlets all over the World and all over China and no one really questions that. Here is your Papa Crap franchise and this is what we require you to put over the door. I will say if they are like Pizza Slut (or Hut) the delivery operator speaks good English, but it's idiotic to have the signage in English.

Being among the Chinese as long as I have, I cannot see any of them actually wanting pizza delivered. Most are smart to figure out what the 400 number is, but still.

Since it is October, unless they quit doing it now, the Pizza Hut employees will be wearing costumes for Halloween, a holiday almost none of the adults over thirty remotely know what is. Just seem like corporate policies are set in stone and do not line up with the cultures they are serving.

Not to dump on how bad Papa John's pizza is (and the owner is an asshole from America), but why English when almost no one can read it, and have the slogan in Chinese?

Clueless in the Hood.

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For some reason those t-shirt with terrible English phrases (or barely decipherable English) come to mind. And people buy and wear them proudly on their own. 

It would be smarter to use advertising that can reach the main consumer base, and putting up advertising on a limited space in a language that absolute majority of that base can't read is just silly.

I think it has to do something with "face" (modern, international business), novelty (Halloween costumes and decorations) and of course globalization.

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It's me again! I just find it weird that their signage is in English instead of Chinese or the local language of whatever country they are in.

I wouldnt think delivering pizza would be a big thing at all with Chinese. Yes, there are delivery services for local food, but to me the people would rather eat their own local food over Papa John's Pizza, plus the expense of it. You can feed a whole family rice, meat and vegetables for the price of one pizza. Chinese see pizza as something to go out and eat, not to take back. But McDonalds delivers which I think is weird.

Halloween is strange because the people don't know it, although I have seen small amounts of Halloween crap here and there.

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I think Popcorn Sutton might be clueless. The English signage is to demonstrate that it is an authentic restaurant from an English-speaking country. Same reason you see Italian on Italian restaurant menus in America, Spanish on Spanish ones, etc. I think the locals walking by can still figure out that it's a pizza place even without that sign cluing them in.

As for the t-shirts with random English words, this demonstrates that the t-shirts are not authentic.

All seems pretty simple to me..

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