Executives leave frequently, suppliers can’t get money, and Li Xuelin’s Hefu Lo Mein is ushering in the “darkest moment”?

On January 21, New Year’s Eve, a cold wave swept across the country. Li Xuelin, the founder of Hefu Lo Mian, asked everyone to “be fully prepared to face the sun” in a New Year letter to employees.

In this letter, words such as “opportunity belongs to us”, “trying overseas layout”, “starting equity and option reform” appear, which are obviously meant to encourage internally, but the embarrassing thing is that the full text has only been read 2180 times – you know, In 2021, Hefu Lo Mein has announced to the outside world that it has more than 5,000 employees.

The popularity of the founder’s New Year’s letter is also a reflection of Hefu Lo Mian and the entire noodle industry in the past year.

Caijing Wuji learned from multiple sources that in 2022, Hefu Lo Mian has experienced two salary cuts for all employees, the resignation of nearly 10 VP-level executives, and adjustments in the direction of franchise strategies.

No wonder Li Xuelin wants to boost morale on New Year’s Eve. If he can’t perform well in 2023 when the fireworks return and various policies are added, then the darling will inevitably become a stray cat in the face of profit-seeking capital.

Caijing Wuji learned from an ingredient supplier of Hefu Lo Mein that throughout 2022, the executives of Hefu Lo Mein will change very frequently. “The person in charge who communicated with us will leave in the fastest month .Then a new leader comes in, and it’s a fresh contact and familiarization.”

According to the preliminary analysis of Caijing Wuji, in 2022, nearly 10 VP-level executives of Hefu Lo Mian will leave, and the departments involved not only include products, operations, IT, brand, franchise, development, and even administration.

“It can be said that from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, such important positions as CTO and product manager have been changed twice within a year, and the shortest one left within one month.” An employee of Hefu Lo Mian said, ” The people working under us are also very embarrassed. The new leader has a new idea. If we implement it, he may be killed within a month. A new leader is another new idea. If I don’t implement it, I may be the one who will be killed. “

A joke that has been circulating in the self-media circles is: When chatting with an executive of Hefu Lo Mein, he said that Hefu’s digital capabilities are very strong. “. “What can be done by a roadside ramen shop is actually regarded as the highlight of the company, and I have no good feelings at all…”

The reason for the frequent change of executives may be the corporate culture and management system of Hefu Lo Mein.

“The probationary period for executives is half a year. After half a year, there will be a full-time job report. The subordinates and the heads of parallel departments must express their opinions on whether they can be full-time. Of course, the boss (Li Xuelin) is the one who makes the final decision.” The above-mentioned internal employee Said, “The most important thing is execution and loyalty. One of Hefu’s corporate cultures is ‘absolute execution’. If the response to the company’s requirements, especially the boss’s, is too slow, or there is no way to quickly adapt to the rhythm of Hefu, that It will be the end of the month.”

In 2021, a group of “new noodle restaurants” will raise funds frequently and open stores frantically. In 2022, the story will turn to a completely different side: frequent store closures, financing interruptions, and investment failures… Despite the emphasis on high efficiency and fast execution, in the face of the weak catering market in 2022, it is difficult for Hefu Lo Noodles not to be caught by the avalanche coerce.

Along with that, the salaries of employees.

An insider told Caijing Wuji that Hefu Lo Mein’s first salary cut was during the outbreak in Shanghai, which lasted for several months and then recovered.

“Due to the complete suspension of takeaway and dine-in food, it has a great impact on Hefu, which has more than 100 stores in Shanghai. At that time, the VP level was discounted by 30%, the director level was discounted by 40%, and the remaining employees were discounted by 50% or 40%. The original income of the catering industry It’s not high, and many grassroots employees struggle to pay the rent every month after receiving the salary discount.” For those employees who are unwilling to accept the salary discount, Hefu Lo Mian will pay the full salary and process the resignation process, “the reason is You can’t share weal and woe, a group of people left at that time, and now you can still find complaints on Weibo.”

“The second time was at the end of last year. The discount was not so big, it looked like 10% or 10% off.” The insider said, “During the epidemic in Shanghai, everyone can understand the salary cut, but this time before the end of the year, it is really unbearable. .Salary cuts twice within one year, which is something I have never encountered in my career. Moreover, Hefu has been saying outside that its cash situation is very good and can survive the cold winter, but if the cash flow is squeezed from employee salary discounts come out, isn’t that the wool that comes out of the sheep?”

According to Caijing Wuji’s knowledge, as of a year ago, Hefu Lo Mian’s strategy of tightening cash is still continuing. Several suppliers have told Caijing Wuji that the settlement time stipulated in the contract has passed, but they have not yet received the corresponding payment for Hefu Lo Mein. When I come down, I can only beg for reminders.”

A piece of news that has not yet attracted the attention of the outside world is: Hefu Lo Mein will open its franchise in 2022. Today, the official website of Hefu Lo Mein still has the entrance of “Shop Opening Consultation”. But after just a few months, the franchise business team was basically empty.

A former employee of Hefu Lo Mein said, “At that time, we were really planning to do a big job. After the team leader was in place, we quickly pulled up a team of 20 to 30 people. As a result, the wind direction changed within a few months. One after another, they withdrew.”

According to the news from Hefu Lo Mein, the “wind direction” refers to the strategy of the entire franchise business.

“Originally, the franchising business is aimed at individuals or families who have money and are willing to invest, but the Hefu team is from a mobile phone chain, and the mobile phone is a regional agency, so the franchising business of Hefu has changed. It’s a waste of work, and it feels messy.”

But Hefu Lo Mein feels pretty good about itself. The founder wrote in his New Year’s letter: In three years, our ecological structure has been fully optimized, our organization’s combat effectiveness has rapidly improved, and our company’s operating efficiency has been reborn… In 2023, the group will launch three major businesses Group layout, comprehensive planning and construction in three aspects of “retail catering business cluster”, “new retail business cluster” and “supply chain retail cluster”… We are ready to fully meet the sun, and we will surely usher in our own Opportunity, results, dividends.

Indeed, the dividends belonging to the catering industry have already appeared in this Spring Festival.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, from January to December 2022, the national catering revenue was 4,394.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 6.3%; the catering income of units above the designated size was 1,065 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 5.9%. The latest data from the Ministry of Commerce shows that with the continuous optimization of epidemic prevention and control measures and the continuous implementation of policies to help companies bail out and promote consumption, consumption of living services has recovered significantly during the Spring Festival. Among them, catering consumption is eye-catching. According to relevant platform data, during the Spring Festival holiday, dine-in consumption increased by 15.4% year-on-year, and per-store consumption increased by 10.8%.

However, an obvious common sense is that the continuity of retaliatory consumption cannot be guaranteed, and the time is really tight for Hefu Lo Mein to achieve long-term rapid development and realize “overseas listing”.

After all, winter goes to spring, and where the sun shines, it may be winter jasmine, or it may be dead grass that has been frozen to death.

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