Send to

[Best Brand] Jojo Kalguksu aspires to be leading hearty soup restaurant

June 28, 2023 - 14:41 By Yu Ji-soo
CEO of Jojo Kalguksu, Kim Seung-hyun (Jojo Kalguksu)

Jojo Kalguksu, a brand that specializes in Korean knife-cut noodles, or kalguksu, has been gaining popularity among customers who crave the hearty noodle dish.

The brand has four restaurants in its hometown of Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, and two restaurants in Seoul. The first branch was established in Daegu in 2017, and the most recent branch opened this March in Seongsu-dong, a popular hotspot among the youth in Seoul.

Jojo Kalguksu also sells kalguksu meal kits for people to cook and enjoy the signature meal at home.

Within five years of the brand’s establishment, total annual sales – including meal kit sales – surpassed 10 billion won ($7.7 million).

The brand’s CEO Kim Seung-hyun, has been at the forefront of this success. He has had extensive experience in running over 25 different businesses ever since he was younger, from a clothing store in front of a university to pork stew restaurants and more.

In an interview with Herald Business, the sister newspaper of The Korea Herald, he attributed his success to the "Inuki Entrepreneurship" business philosophy, which involves taking over struggling businesses or those on the brink of closing and reviving them under new ownership. This business method significantly reduces financial burdens as there is no need to pay extra for premiums.

Under this philosophy, Kim has taken what some might consider unconventional business approaches, such as taking advantage of less favorable locations including side streets and underground spaces.

"Thanks to the Inuki Entrepreneurship approach, our Jojo Kalguksu branches generate monthly sales of 100 to 200 million won while keeping the rent below 5 percent of the sales amount," he explained.

Kim's ultimate goal is to make Jojo Kalguksu the leading brand in the kalguksu industry. He aims to open a total of 20 directly operated stores, but has no plans for franchises, he said.