Traditional hand-pulled noodles, stretching across Manhattan
August 21, 2022 | Global
As savory, hand-pulled noodles take NYC by storm, Dun Huang stands out by staying true to its traditional recipes. But they’re pushing boundaries when it comes to reaching customers through the Uber Eats app – and seeing equally tasty results.
On the menu
Hand-pulled noodles and Northwestern Chinese cuisine
Top 10 performer among NYC’s Chinese restaurants on Uber Eats
Casting a wide net to reach as many new customers as possible
How Dun Huang pulls in orders
It’s been a few short years since Dun Huang first opened in Queens. But much has changed. Hand-pulled noodles are all the rage. Trendy spots are popping up left and right. As for Dun Huang? They’ve expanded to seven restaurants, with plans for more in the immediate future.
But Shiyang Li, manager at Dun Huang’s Grand Central location, will be the first to tell you: it’s not about appealing to the masses; it’s about reaching the masses.
How? By trusting in classic flavors that have stood the test of time. “This was the food I’d eat growing up in my hometown,” he says. “We don’t want to change too much.”
We definitely have more competition this year, because noodles are really easy to make. But we are trying to stay with the traditional ways.
“Uber Eats is by far one of the most powerful out of all the platforms I’m using.”
Onboarding fast, selling faster
Tradition is one thing. But business is another. And just like Dun Huang’s Lanzhou Beef Noodles (far and away the top seller among both dine-in and delivery customers) Shiyang is able to stretch a bit when it comes to growing the business. “In this area,” he says of Midtown Manhattan, “delivery is a huge kick.”
Shiyang had used the Uber Eats app as a consumer to order food for himself. Intrigued, he was able to get his restaurant set up quickly as restaurant partner on the Uber Eats platform and without hassle. “It was really easy,” he recalls. From there, the authentic dishes rolled out – and sales poured in. “In this area,” he says of Midtown Manhattan, “delivery is a huge kick.” And by connecting to delivery people using the Uber Eats platform, he’s able to get his dishes where they need to be - reliably.
From the beginning, Shiyang has aimed to get as much out of third-party platforms as possible. His restaurant uses at least 6 third-party platforms to reach customers. But by and large, Dun Huang noted he feels particularly confident in the sales he’s doing through customer orders with the Uber Eats platform.
Knowing which dishes are hot
Shiyang makes a point of ensuring Dun Huang fans stay satisfied. He finds valuable insights in the analytics Uber Eats provides to restaurant partners like himself.
“I check it every day,” he says. “Primarily... the reviews – which item they liked most, and which they liked least.” Recently, Shiyang noticed a few reviews calling out the spice level in their Monstrous Plate Chicken. So he and his staff dialed down the dish’s heat, but not enough for it to lose its verified ‘spicy’ checkmark that alerts new customers browsing on the Uber Eats app.
“That’s really a good function. For dine-in, we cannot get that customer’s feedback.”
After such a quick, impressive start as an Uber Eats restaurant partner, we asked Shiyang if he had any advice for restaurant owners who might be on the fence about joining the Uber Eats platform. His response? “It was easy to join and get started. And it’s given us a strong new source of revenue. So I’d say go for it. Don’t be afraid to try new things.”
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