The Legacy of Hanok Village Jeonju Bibimbap

Hanok Village Jeonju Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a dish born in one of the most popular South Korean heritage village of Jeonju. In this dish the rice is mixed with vegetables and meat and the colors of the ingredients are beautifully arranged. The Legacy of Hanok Village Jeonju Bibimbap has its roots from this world famous city. Hyun Ki Kim, CEO of Hanok Village Jeonju Bibimbap,  and his mother started their restaurant business in Jeonju and spread it across the world.  

1. How did you enter in the franchise business?

Forty-five years ago, my mother started a Korean food restaurant, and later I inherited the business. While running four restaurants under our direct management in Busan, Sejong, Incheon, and Gimhae, Korea, we received many franchise requests from distributors, such as department stores, outlets, and major supermarkets. As a result, we started franchising in 2016 in hopes of providing customers with healthy dining options that my mother perfected over many years.

2.Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

I’ll never forget the bibimbap that my mother made for me when I was a child. I loved how the namul, or seasoned wild vegetables, and my mother’s secret gochujang red pepper paste blended together. Bibimbap is great because it is an iconic Korean dish that also shares our culture through food.

Hanok Village Jeonju Bibimbap

3.What inspired the brand name?

Jeonju is a city where you can experience Korea’s food, traditions, and culture all at once. Designated as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2012, it has a long history in terms of cuisine. Both my mother and I, the current CEO, were born and raised in Jeonju, and my mother started her bibimbap restaurant there. With hopes of learning from and continuing my mother’s passion and sincerity for food, we combined Jeonju’s prominent hanok, or traditional Korean houses, and the city’s most famous dish, “Jeonju bibimbap,” to create our brand.

4.What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

Our logo includes giwa, or roof tiles on traditional hanok houses, in the five cardinal colors of Korea that also influence bibimbap ingredients (red: gochujang, yellow: bean sprouts, blue (green): spinach, black: soy sauce, white: rice). The colors and symbolism harmonize in one bowl, resulting in the best bibimbap ever. I hope everyone enjoys how the five distinct flavors come together so beautifully.

5.What makes your brand different from your competitors?

First, our 45-year-old secret gochujang guarantees consistent flavor at all our locations. Second, we have our own distribution network for produce and namul to streamline prep time and ensure quality. This fast Korean food system enables anyone, even people with no cooking experience, to learn how to run a restaurant in five days through our training program.

6.What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

Our top priority is co-prosperity. A franchise operation consists of many franchisees, so we pay attention to individual drive and sense of ownership.

Entrepreneurship : manage and drive for the bossiness

Passion : high quality control and hygiene

Accountability : drive and strong focus on customer experience and service

Ability to fund, develop and operate multi-unit our brand within a defined region.

7.How long does it take, in an average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

Depends on certain crucial factors influence. Country or city, actual space of location, initial investment, etc, for example. Therefore, give your condition we would need to understand enough about it but on average it should take a franchisee 1,5 years.

8.What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Our major challenge has been establishing a fast Korean food system. It usually takes a long time to learn how to cook Korean dishes. A lot of Korean foods must be fermented and aged, and there are many soups and sauces. The flavors are affected by the level of fermentation and when ingredients are added to a dish. Even if you follow a standard recipe, it’s extremely difficult to reproduce the exact same flavor or taste. However, after many years of research, we successfully scaled my mother’s secret gochujang recipe for mass-production and perfected a meat broth concentrate for consistent taste and quality.

8-1. What is your best achievement?

Creating a path through which anyone can make our dishes after one week of training with our 45-year-old secret gochujang and fast Korean food system.

9.How does your business day start?

I browse the global news and check the schedule. After that, I work out to make myself fresh. My work or meeting usually starts around 10 am.

10.What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

My best moments are when a new franchise opens. Many people come together and invest so much time and effort into making that happen. There’s nothing better—or more humbling—than seeing a line of people waiting to dine in one of our restaurants on opening day.

11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

We’re always working toward getting bibimbap into new global markets. And we’re developing lots of new and exciting meal kits, HMR (home meal replacement products), and restaurant meal replacement products. We’re looking to open at least ten brick-and-mortar stores outside of Korea and make all our products available for purchase both online and offline.

For any further franchising query, please contact Ms. Hanna Kim / Marketing Headquarter Email:

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