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Promote Beijing food to China and world, local restaurant owners told

A child marvels at food made into various shapes at a
            cuisinecompetition in Beijing on Sunday. wang jing / China daily

A child marvels at food made into various shapes at a cuisinecompetition in Beijing on Sunday. wang jing / China daily

Beijing restaurant owners should look for opportunities to sell their cuisine to other parts of China and abroad instead of just thinking their food was superior.

Yang Liu, deputy chairman of China Cuisine Association, said it is common to see Hunan, Sichuan or Yunnan restaurants in the capital, but the reverse was not true.

"Beijing food companies were reluctant to expand to other cities because of

their mental superiority," Yang said at the opening ceremony of Beijing International Food Pageantry, held in Wangfujing Street on Sunday.

"Why shouldn't Beijing snacks be available on Tianjin or Nanjing streets? We sell them through supermarkets, but we can also make Beijing snacks a feast at restaurants."

Besides, foreigners knew only a few Beijing meals such as Peking duck. More specialty foods should be introduced overseas, Yang said.

Some old and famous Beijing restaurants are also asking very high prices when they looked for franchisees outside Beijing.

Quanjude, famous for its Beijing duck, for example charges 8 million yuan to use its name and recipe, the highest among 218 brands in 2010 China Franchise Expo, Beijing Times reported.

"But we are encouraging Beijing restaurant operators to open franchisees in other cities and overseas," Yang said.

In February, UNESCO gave Chengdu the world gourmet city award, the first Asian city to win that honor.

But Beijing still has a long way to go. Yang said a world gourmet city should not only offer food from all parts of the world, but also develop a flourishing local specialty system.

Last year, the dining industry in Beijing was worth 47.8 billion yuan, up 16 percent over the previous year.

Statistics from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce show that the increase for past three consecutive years has been more than 15 percent.

However, total revenue for the industry in China was 1,800 billion yuan last year, with an average increase of 16.8 percent, and provinces such as Yunnan, Sichuan and Jilin had growth rates of more than 20 percent.