A lot of Chinese businesses profit off of counterfeit products and fast-food chains. So, how do these businesses deliver? By knocking off the real thing with pretty darn good replicas… sometimes. Let’s take a look at 10 Hilarious Knock Off Fast Food Chains Only In China.
It sounds like a bank name or a TV network but it’s just the next fast-food chain knock off from China. The fraudulent KFC restaurant called “CBC” is perhaps meant to be played off as “China’s Best Chicken”. Who knows if the chicken is any good but surely KFC is starting to get frustrated with the abundance of different knock offs of their restaurants in China. The CBC version has even copied the branding to look almost identical. The restaurant look and design from the outside in also looks identical to a real KFC in China. So much so that it is even suspected that it might have been a real KFC prior to it being a CBC. As convincing as the restaurant may be to an unsuspecting KFC fan, we’re not sure they profited as much as they would have if they were a true KFC! No one can do a bucket of fried chicken like KFC can! Therefore, it may be China’s best chicken but it’s definitely not the best fried chicken!
9. Rhymes with Starbucks
OK so this one’s a little tricky. When you change the b in the “bucks” from Starbucks for an f, you get the idea of what name this knock off coffee shop goes by. The Chinese don’t seem to know this popular English swear word or thought it would either be a funny play on words appealing to foreigners. Ladies and gentlemen instead of Starbucks we present to you Star… well you know. They use the same logo with just one letter swap. They also forgot the second e in the word coffee. We know when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking but that doesn’t mean you leave the second one out! The look and branding aren’t really well done in terms of completely replicating the famous Starbucks coffee brand but they sell coffee just the same. Some might see this knock-off version and get offended – how dare you speak to me that way. Starbucks would never talk to me that way. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to this knock off coffee house run by someone who thought it would be funny to share Starbucks knock offs, mistakes and funny memes. According to the posts on this Facebook page, there are multiple locations using the Starbucks with an f name all over China.
8. O Mc…McDnoald’s
Ol’ McDnoald had a farm? We thought it was old McDonald. Like KFC, it seems McDonald’s cannot catch a break in China with a crazy number of Mickey D knock offs out there. What is the reason for this? Many small business owners in China create knock-off Western chains to deliver on the Chinese consumers demands. The average Chinese consumer wants Western-style fast food, service and an environment that makes them feel like a Westerner. The catch is that they want all this at Chinese prices, not North American prices. This creates challenges for small businesses who cannot afford to provide Western products for Chinese prices. As a result, these counterfeit restaurants like O Mc McDnoald’s pop up in the cities around China. They replicate everything they can from the logo to the service to the Big Macs! If a knock-off McDonald’s is not done really well they will not last long. It is not uncommon for restaurants and shops to pop up and change every few months in China for these very reasons.
7. King Burger
If you can’t find Burger King in China then you’ll be able to a least find “King Burger”. Another classy knock off where they swap the two words and use the same logo and branding. They can supersize your fries and try to provide as “close to the real thing” fast-food that the real chain offers. Even their posters are almost identical! There are many knock off versions of Burger King’s around the world from “Burger Friends” to “Cheese Burger” but “King Burger” has to be the best one. Simply because they copied everything down to the smallest details. Even a foreigner might not spot the difference and just mistake the change of words for a translation mishap considering it’s in a different country. King Burger seems to offer many of the same menu items as Burger King but saying they have the same quality of burgers and fries would be questionable. When talking about any replica of a fast-food chain in China, the prices are cheaper, therefore, the owners spend less on the ingredients and don’t necessarily provide the same quality just the same quantity.
6. Tim House
This one might get the Canadians a little upset. How dare they knock off the ever so popular Tim Horton’s! Tim Horton’s locations have been growing steadily and have branched outside of Canada in the last few years. They are surely flattered that they are becoming recognized globally but this has caused them to take some defensive action. Tim Horton’s otherwise known as “Timmie’s” does not take replication of their franchises very lightly. Although surprisingly, this knock off was spotted in South Korea, we wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few just over the border in China as well. This knock off was named Tim House instead of Tim Horton’s and they of course sell coffee. They even offer an instant coffee that they’ve named Tim Morton’s Mocha Gold Coffee Mix. The falsely advertised coffee uses an almost identical logo and very similar branding. When this copycat Timmie’s was discovered on the other side of the world Tim Horton’s took action. A spokeswoman for the brand said that they are thrilled to see Tim Horton’s recognized around the world but they are taking the steps to protect their intellectual property and its trademark. Doesn’t seem Tim House or Tim Morton’s will last as long as they hoped for. The issue for the actual brands is that when they shut down one knock off, a new one pops up with a slightly altered name change and logo yet again. Good luck Tim’s!
5. Wichael Alone
Move over Michael Alone.. and McDonald’s for that matter, here is Wichael Alone! This fake McDonald’s in China has the famous golden arches flipped upside down with a Ronald McDonald outside to greet customers who come to dine in. The best part about this McDonald’s knock off is that it seems to be a knock off based on a previous McDonald’s knock off called “Michael Alone”. Perhaps, they thought the Michael Alone knock off was so good that they did the same thing but flipped not only the golden arches but the M in Michael as well. Open twenty-four hours like an American McD’s restaurant we wonder if Wichael Alone gets much business, especially with its consistent competition. Here is a little overview of where the name came from: The movie Home Alone translated to Chinese means “Little boy, the head of household.” The common phonetic transcription of “Michael” in China and “McDonald’s” is very similar. So with the similarities in the characters, they changed a character to make it look authentic to locals. Translated again the logo becomes “Michael, the head of household,” which can be related to the famous Christmas movie and hence “Michael Alone” was born. Confusing to you and me but probably makes perfect sense in China. Then “Wichael Alone” soon followed.
4. StarBox Coffee
It almost sounds like bucks, right? It’s perfect! Well, not exactly, it might fool some but not everyone! Starbucks’ army of caffeinated lawyers has previously forced “Star Box Coffee” shops to change their name. They do not take counterfeit locations lightly especially when they try to represent themselves as a true Starbucks location! A location in London, England that used the same name had to take the word “star” out of the name because it would cause confusion for consumers, even though the coffee shop was red and white with no mermaid logo. Starbucks commented “Trademark law is there to protect brand identity.” But do they know about all of the other Star Box locations using the famous green color and similar logos? They certainly have the power! With the increasing popularity of coffee in China and more of the younger generations asking for coffee over green tea, you can find many knock off Starbucks in various cities across China. Not everyone can afford the Starbucks latte even if it is just a “tall” but most can afford the Star Box lattes! They can splurge and get a venti size and even a slice of cheesecake.
3. Twinkle Queen
These blizzards must be twinkling, but are they the Queen of dairy at this counterfeit DQ? Dairy Queen did not get a pass when it comes to being imitated. First, it was Dairy Fairy and now it’s Twinkle Queen. At least we have to give these business owners credit for being creative with the names. It’s easy to see that the logo style and branding are very similar to that of Dairy Queen. They changed the red to orange and Dairy to Twinkle but this doesn’t twinkle our dairy cravings. These are Chinese DQ’s and locals indulge in their knock off blizzards, ice cream cakes, hot dogs and more. Even though it is evident that this DQ is a knock off it seems that they do provide legit tasting ice cream desserts. The taste may be okay but of course, DQ is much better! They also create new names for the blizzards like “snowstorms” or “ice storms”. The craziest part about some of these Chinese fast-food knock offs is that they are often found close to an actual authentic location. For example, there is a knock off DQ called “dairy fairy” in a mall on the lower level in Shanxi, China and on the third floor of the same shopping mall, there is a real Dairy Queen. Now if that’s not crazy we don’t know what is!
2. HotDognald’s and Mini Dog
There are a lot of McDonald’s knock offs in China, that’s no secret. We have already covered a few and here is yet another example. McDonald’s and KFC are the most popular Western fast-food restaurants across China. There is a knock off called KMC which is a KFC look alike but seems to stand for Kentucky McDonald’s Chicken. With so much competition and high demand from Chinese consumers for Western food at Chinese prices, fake versions of McDonald’s have been spotted in all major cities around the country. But some of these McD’s versions seem to have cut out the burgers from the menu and offer hot dogs or mini dogs instead. Would you like fries with that?! We wonder if you can supersize the hot dogs or if there is a “Big Mac” version of a hot dog. Imagine a hot dog in a bun with big mac sauce, lettuce, cheese, and all the good stuff. There doesn’t seem to be as many McDonald’s knock offs that are centered around hot dogs so these ones are unique! Surely they must have combos that include cola and crispy fries and if they offer burgers there could be a super combo with a burger, hot dog and fries! Who is willing to check out a HotDognald’s or Mini Dog in China? Or who is brave enough might be the better question!
1. Face Food, The Food of Facebook
Not exactly a fast-food chain but China has a way of making anything into a food spot. Whether it’s “Apple”-eleven instead of 7-eleven or FACEBOOK, they can make it happen. They use American food-chains and even social media apps apparently to appeal to locals as well as expats. They think that because they’re using a logo or brand people recognize they will get more business. In some cases, they succeed but in others… they can “face” some challenges! This business used the same logo as facebook but turned it into a convenience store with quick food options as well. They seem to offer everything from fresh juices to pastries similar to a local 7-eleven but much smaller. Unlike Facebook, this is not a worldwide convenience store although it has been spotted in China where Facebook is blocked. Other locations or outright copycats have been spotted in places like India, Egypt, Romania and more. In some of these countries the name is being used as a cafe instead of a convenience store. At first glance, you might think Facebook opened up a location but you didn’t get the notification! It might be post-worthy for a laugh with it’s close resemblance to the real Facebook. There is also a “Facefood” cafe and bistro. The cafe’s tagline is “Facefood, the best food for your face”, whatever that means. It is clear these businesses had not sought permission from Facebook. It seems these businesses found a good way to attract people to check them out. People even take photos and post them, it creates free marketing for them! As strange as it is, it’s no wonder they created a food spot using the Facebook look. Ever since Facebook was founded in 2004 it has become a multibillion-dollar corporation! They think they could potentially profit like the social platform has. In previous years, a Facebook spokesman commented on these Facebook knock offs saying that “they are looking into it” but it doesn’t appear they took any action since they can still be found.