鼎泰豐成功秘訣就是這個!老闆自曝「關鍵人物」 | Owner unveils key ingredient in Din Tai Fung’s growth, success

【看CP學英文】 一說到鼎泰豐,就會馬上讓人聯想到笑容可掬的服務生、黃金18摺的小籠包,以及更多令人垂涎的美食。

Welcoming smiles, exquisite artwork, and mouthwatering food are what people frequently imagine when they hear of Din Tai Fung.

鼎泰豐目前在全球共有167家分店,成功的讓台灣美食及文化在世界舞台上發光發熱。

The globalized chain restaurant boasts 167 restaurants worldwide and has been spreading the art of Chinese cuisine to all parts of the world for years.

鼎泰豐董事長楊紀華表示,鼎泰豐能不斷擴展事業版圖,需歸功於優秀的員工。

When asked about his secret to success, Din Tai-Fung owner Warren Yang (楊紀華) explained that the company’s staff has been instrumental in the development of the brand and business worldwide.

鼎泰豐的歷史|History of Din Tai Fung

楊秉彝與妻子賴盆妹於1957年創立了鼎泰豐油行,1972年開始賣小籠包,經夫妻倆無數次嘗試,「18摺小籠包」也於當年問世了。

Din Tai Fung was originally an oil company, and was first opened in 1957 by husband and wife, Yang Bing-yi, and Lai Pen-mai. In 1957, the couple began selling steamed dumplings and went through numerous trials and errors to develop the key dishes that have established their restaurant’s reputation. 

小籠包雖隨處可見,但楊秉彝販售的小籠包不但外觀精緻,口感更是令人驚豔,輕鬆擄獲全球饕客們的胃。

In 1972, the pair found success when their famous “Xiao Long-bao” was born. Although the pair weren’t the first ones to create the Xiao Long-bao, their unique hand-folding skills, taste, and presentation set them apart from other restaurants and quickly captivated countless customers from Taiwan and beyond.

小籠包至今仍是鼎泰豐的招牌,吸引世界各地的觀光客前來「朝聖」。

Word began to spread about the Chinese dim sum, and the Xiao Long-bao continues to be the most requested dish in Din Tai Fung till this day.

疫情間,兩名小孩在台北的鼎泰豐門口,戴著口罩,專心觀看師傅的精湛手藝。(圖/取自美聯社)|Two children wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus and watch dumpling-making of Din Tai Fung at a department store in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

鼎泰豐小籠包秘訣|All About the Xiao Long-Bao

小小的一顆小籠包,卻隱含大大的學問,畢竟,並不是人人都能做出皮薄多汁的小籠包。

The art of the Xiao Long-bao is one that many people have tried to perfect, but few have succeeded in doing so. This should not come as a surprise because it’s quite impossible to master this incredible folding technique.

楊紀華表示,鼎泰豐的小籠包使用5公克的麵皮、16公克的內餡、18摺的封口,比例精準,任一步驟皆不得馬虎,也因此,需花上兩到三年時間才能培養一位傑出的小籠包師傅。

According to Yang, it would take someone two to three years to perfect such skills. The reason why Xiao Long Bao is so hard to master is that it requires an exact ratio of ingredients and close attention to detail.

楊紀華也說道,蒸小籠包的溫度和時間必須精準。每籠小籠包約只能加熱至四分半左右,多出十秒鐘就可能讓小籠包過於軟爛,破壞口感。

Yang explained that the time needed for the Xiao Long Bao to be at the perfect temperature is crucial and should be timed as accurately as possible. They need to be heated for around four and a half minutes, and if they are heated just ten seconds over time, they will crumble.

演員湯姆克魯斯(Tom Cruise)為了宣傳新片《遺落戰境》來台,2013年4月6日更到台北的鼎泰豐體驗包小籠包,並與鼎泰豐老闆楊紀華合影。(圖/取自美聯社)|Seen through glass, actor Tom Cruise, left, displays his dumplings at the world renowned Din Tai Fung restaurant with owner Yang Chi-hua in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, April 6, 2013. Cruise is in Taiwan for the Asia premiere of his new film “Oblivion.” (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

為什麼小籠包如此有魅力呢?楊紀華說人們喜愛小籠包原因種種,其中日本人喜愛小籠包因為它「比較清淡,皮薄餡多」。

Many may wonder why the Xiao Long Bao is so craved for. According to Yang, people like the Xiao Long Bao for different reasons. He specified that the Japanese especially loved the simplicity of it.

在鼎泰豐發展成全球餐飲品牌前,主要的客群為華人、日本人及美國人,也因此鼎泰豐剛開幕時招牌上只有中、日、英三種語言。

Years ago, before Din Tai Fung became globalized, their main customers were Japanese, Chinese and Americans. Therefore, when Yang Bing-yi and Lai Pen-mai first opened the store, they only included Japanese, Chinese, and English in their brand name.

前進世界 揚名國際|Expanding to the Global Market

鼎泰豐的第一家海外分店位於日本。

When Yang Bing-yi and Lai Pen-mei first came up with the idea of expanding Din Tai Fung abroad, they decided to first start with Japan.

老闆楊秉彝觀察到日本人的彬彬有禮和極度注重衛生的觀念,因此他非常強調店內的用餐環境,提供賓至如歸的服務。爾後,整潔的環境以及親切的服務便成為鼎泰豐的兩大特色。

Yang noticed the incredible sanitation and politeness that the Japanese displayed, and decided to emphasize the need for a clean environment that allows his customers to feel like home in his restaurant. Therefore, this common expectation is upheld in all of his restaurants. 

位於泰國的鼎泰豐店,可見小籠包師傅帶著口罩,賣力地桿著麵皮,捏製小籠包。(圖/取自美聯社)|In this Dec. 12, 2015, photo, dumpling makers wearing sanitary masks work on fresh dumplings at Din Tai Fung, a Chinese restaurant in the Central World mall in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Ted Anthony)

儘管鼎泰豐在全球已擁有167家分店,顧客及老闆楊紀華本人還是對鼎泰豐抱有高度的期待與要求。

Although the brand Din Tai Fung has expanded to 167 restaurants, the expectations, not only by the customers but by Yang himself, remain the same for each of them.

楊紀華對鼎泰豐的料理非常講究,也時常關顧店裡。他最愛的料理是香酥蝦餅,而新加坡正是這道料理的靈感來源。

Yang pays close attention to the quality of his food and often dines in Din Tai Fung as well. According to him, his favorite dish is shrimp pancake (香酥蝦餅). The idea for shrimp pancakes came about when Yang visited Singapore.

他先是在新加坡的店試賣香酥蝦餅。獲得許多饕客肯定後,便紛紛在不同國家推出,在台灣也能吃到這道料理。

He first started selling shrimp pancakes in Singapore, and the responses that he was getting back were positive. Therefore, he added this dish to some of the other restaurants, notably in Taiwan as well.

與時俱進的菜單|Changing it Up

為了讓顧客品嘗不同種類的中華料理,鼎泰豐不時更新菜單,提供消費者多元選擇。

The process of adding and changing some of the items from the menu was to make sure that customers experienced different types of Chinese cuisine. He strongly hopes that his customers won’t get sick of eating the same food and often changes up his dishes.

楊紀華希望鼎泰豐能發展成一家能提供三餐的餐廳。他也分享道,旅行能提供他靈感,研發新料理。

Yang describes Din Tai Fung as somewhere you can eat every day and offers not only lunch and dinner, but breakfast as well. A lot of the inspiration that he gets for his new dishes comes from his traveling.

Seen through glass, actor Tom Cruise arrives to make dumplings at the world-renowned Din Tai Fung restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, April 6, 2013. Cruise is in Taiwan for the Asia premiere of his new film “Oblivion.” (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

在義大利旅遊時,他觀察到幾乎所有料理都會搭配松露,促使他研發一道中西合併的料理。

He states that when he traveled to Italy and saw how everything was paired with truffles, he was inspired to create a dish that would include such delicacy.

松露炒飯也就這麼誕生了,台灣的許多門市都有提供這道特色料理。

Therefore, he decided to add a new dish that many Din Tai Fung restaurants in Taiwan currently have, called truffle fried rice (松露炒飯)

在菜單頻繁更新的情況下,要維持每家餐廳的品質可不容易,特別是不同國家採用的食才可能有所差異。

However, with the dishes constantly changing, it would seem impossible for the food in all restaurants to taste the same, especially since the materials used for each dish are from different countries.

對此,楊紀華解釋道,鼎泰豐每新開一家分店,便會指派資深廚師及服務員駐店,傳授服務理念和烹調手法,以確保新店家能提供客人最高品質的服務。

To this, Yang explained that whenever they decided to open a new branch, cooks and servers from Taiwan will head over to teach them all they need to know about the brand and its service to better ensure the quality of both food and customer experience.

新冠肺炎的衝擊,鼎泰豐如何因應?|Coronavirus and its Impact on Business

疫情對擁有167家國內外分店的鼎泰豐來說,絕對是一大挑戰。

With all 167 restaurants scattered in countries worldwide, it is without a doubt that one of the challenges of having a global chain restaurant is the most recent coronavirus (COVID-19).

楊紀華表示,鼎泰豐百分之二十五的顧客是外國旅客,此外,鼎泰豐也要確保員工的健康。

According to Yang, tourists make up more than 25% of their profit. Not only that, but he needs to monitor his workers closely. If a worker falls ill, he/she will need to be quarantined for two weeks.

Din Tai Fung iconic dishes are featured in this collage photo. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

鼎泰豐傳奇|Din Tai Fung Legacy and Impact

儘管鼎泰豐依賴國外旅客的光顧,因深受台灣人民喜愛,國內餐廳在疫情時期仍能維持營運。

Although tourists make up a significant percentage of their profit, many Din Tai Fung restaurants, especially ones in Taiwan, were able to stay open because the locals continued to dine there.

鼎泰豐的魅力,老少皆無法抵擋,這也是鼎泰豐成功的秘訣。

According to Yang, one of the reasons why Din Tai Fung was able to become so prosperous was because generations after generation of people continue to dine there.

中式餐廳滿街都有,但鼎泰豐仍穩坐冠軍寶座,無人能敵。

It is without a doubt that there are numerous restaurants out there that sell Chinese cuisine, but almost nobody can compare to what Yang and his family have achieved.

鼎泰豐的服務及料理,似乎已成為高端餐廳的楷模,也成為中式料理的最佳代言人,讓台灣美食揚名全球。

Din Tai Fung continues to set the standard high for what the restaurant’s dining experience should be like with their excellent food and service. They have become the face of Chinese cuisine and continue to spread the art of Chinese food to countries all around the world.