Company Description

MUMU Hot Pot is a full-service, fast casual restaurant focused on bringing a unique and outstanding hot pot dining experience to Pleasanton and Livermore, California. Built on four years of success at Boiling Hot Pot & Bar (the team’s sister restaurants in San Francisco and Fremont), the team is excited to introduce this new bar-style, personalized hotpot concept that is tailored for its prime location adjacent to San Francisco Premium Outlets – California’s busiest mall.

Rendering of MUMU Hot Pot (for illustrative purposes only)

Hot pot has been an essential part of Chinese dining culture for centuries. Traditionally served at the center of a dining table, a metal hot pot is kept simmering as raw ingredients are placed in the stock to cook. Typical hot pot dishes include sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings and seafood. Though originally consumed to stave off the cold and promote other health benefits, consumers’ demand for hot pot has become so widespread that chains have began to standardize the experience and fuel explosive expansion in China. According to Euromonitor (2015), seven of the top 13 full-service restaurants chains by value are hot pot chains. These groups had a collective market capitalization of nearly $3 billion.

The MUMU management team has successfully developed hot pot recipes and formats with Boiling Hot Pot that have made their concepts a favorite amongst residents in the Bay Area. The first Boiling Hot Pot location opened in 2013 in Fremont. The business grew quickly given the popularity of the food and buffet style menu. Riding on that success, a second Boiling Hot Pot in the Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco opened in 2014. Since inception, sales at the two locations have seen double digit growth, reaching over $1.2 million in revenue per restaurant in 2017 – with nearly ~15% net margins.

With its hands-on, local experience, the MUMU management developed a new bar-style, fast casual hot pot concept that is better suited for solo and casual group dining favored by residents and outlet shoppers in Livermore and Pleasanton. At MUMU Hot Pot, the standard menu will be designed around seven signature soup bases and dipping sauces. The restaurant will combine appropriate portions of meat, vegetable and side dishes to create various DIY, value-oriented set menus. The setup allows for faster turnaround times and a reduced staffing need.

Staffing efforts will focus primarily on exceptional customer service and food management. The management team will adhere to highly standardized food flavor and quality while the wait staff will help in making diners’ experiences a memorable one.

Doors are scheduled to open by February 2018.

Business Model

MUMU Hot Pot’s revenue streams will consist of food, alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages. However, different from its competitors, MUMU will focus on a faster, more convenient format to serve shoppers.

The traditional hot pot eatery is designed for small to large groups planning a shared meal. Instead, MUMU will be designed for diners to sit along a bar in which each place setting is equipped with a personal pot of broth. The setup not only gives each individual a fully personalized meal, it also allows for a faster experience with lower service needs.

MUMU will focus on set menus and combinations of ingredients. Offerings will evolve with customer demand which can be tailored to each location. Plus, additional seasonal selections will keep the experience fresh. MUMU also offers a selection of alcoholic and regular beverages meant to complement the hot pot offerings.

MUMU Hotpot’s business model has several advantages compared to a typical full-service restaurant:

  • Lower upfront capital expenditure allows for a faster payback. Hot pot setups do not require a full, complex kitchen setup.
  • Low overhead with a simplified service model. No need for highly skilled chefs or kitchen staff. The customers self-serve with food preparation, and the bar-style format also allows one server to cover more customers simultaneously. The business can focus solely on training a wait staff dedicated to superior customer service.
  • Centralized procurement and standardized ingredients. Management can centralize procurement of high quality ingredients across all locations. This will increase its purchasing power, drive down costs via volume purchase, and allow the business to work with better suppliers.
  • Highly standardized food flavor and quality. The recipes of soup bases and dipping sauces are developed and controlled by the management team. Since the food is cooked by customers directly without chef preparation, the taste and quality of the food depends mostly on the company’s ability to develop good recipes and procure high quality ingredients at the store level.

Location Analysis

MUMU Hotpot will be located in the Pacific Pearl Shopping Center at 2693 Stoneridge Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

According to City Data, the median household income in Pleasanton was estimated at $142,412 in 2016, over double the California average. Pleasanton’s Asian population also makes up over 30% of the city’s general demographic.

Pacific Pearl is a newly constructed shopping center includes 112,000 square feet of retail space and 573 parking spaces, anchored by a 99 Ranch Market. The center is quickly becoming a dining destination with a wide array of other restaurant offerings that create built-in traffic. Various other Asian food concepts such as ramen, sushi, bonchon, Korean BBQ, and various dessert and bakery options (including 85C Bakery Café) draw a steady flow of traffic.

MUMU’s site will be located directly across the street from the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore, managed by Simon Property Group. San Francisco Premium Outlets is the largest shopping mall in California and receives over ( 9 million visitors annually. The Outlets provide over 550,000 square feet of retail shopping, with an additional 200,000 square feet being built in its Phase 2 plans. Significant residential expansion and a planned development for Kaiser Hospital make the area a prime growth location. MUMU will be available to serve the large local Asian community and also target the high volume of Chinese and East Asian shoppers that visit the outlets throughout the year.

The restaurant’s location in Northern California also makes for highly favorable weather patterns for hot pot consumption. Generally, hot pot has seasonable patterns. Sales dip in the hot summer months, while cooler months see a spike in sales. As the climate in Northern California is mild yearround, the region is highly favorable for hot pot. Monthly sales at Boiling Hot Pot locations in SF and Fremont have experienced only minor seasonality over a 12-month period. While the average temperature for the year in Fremont is 50-69F and 51-64F in San Francisco, the average temperature for the year for Livermore ranges between 48-73F.

Meet the Team

Han "Alex" Hu
Founder & CEO

Han founded Boiling Hot Pot & Bar in Fremont in 2013 and expanded to a second location in San Francisco in 2014. As a veteran in the restaurant industry, Han learned the tools of the trade as a store manager at Super Panda Restaurant and at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot prior to launching his own hot pot ventures.

As the company expands to new locations and branches into MUMU concepts, Han is focused on business development and branding. Han graduated from Jilin University in China.

Ray Wu
Executive Chef

Ray has over a dozen years of experience in the restaurant industry. His experience on the line as a cook at Kyoto Palace, the Red Crane Restaurant, and Yayoi Japanese restaurant (lead) as well as his time as Manager at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot gave Ray a strong retail perspective. Further, Ray spent a few years at Marina Foods as an Assistant Store Manager, providing a unique skill set in understanding procurement and supply chain management for produce.

His role as executive chef calls upon each of these experiences in developing the menu and managing the ordering of high quality ingredients. Ray has degrees in Food Development and Supply Chain Management from the University of California, Berkeley.

Pak Chin
District Manager

Pak brings several years of restaurant experience to his role as District Manager where he oversees store operations and daily management. Pak helped launch Boiling Hot Pot as Store Manager at the Fremont location. He grew with the concept, opening the SF location as Store Manager before being promoted to District Manager to run operations at both locations.

He is a graduate of San Jose State University.