Haidilao: Popular Chinese hot pot chain to open first Canadian location in Metro Vancouver

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      If you didn’t grow up in an Asian household, hot pot may be a foreign term to you. Most people enjoy this type of Chinese communal cuisine at home, but more hot-pot establishments are opening up in the city due to an increasing demand. Its convenience and affordability (in comparison to buying and preparing all the ingredients yourself) makes it highly attractive for food-lovers.

      Haidilao Hot Pot, a mega-popular hot-pot chain based in China, is scheduled to open its first Canadian location in Metro Vancouver next month. Located at 200–5890 Number 3 Road in Richmond (formerly occupied by HML Seafood Restaurant), the dining spot is a short walk from the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station.

      According to Haidilao Canada’s marketing manager, Ryan Pan, 150 employees are currently being trained for the hot pot establishment’s mid-December opening. Its menu—think sliced meats, fish balls, veggies, spicy broths, and more—will mostly feature local ingredients, but guests can expect to find some items that are imported from other countries.

      Messy eaters, don’t fret: the eatery offers aprons to all guests, which can help prevent any greasy stains caused by its tasty dipping sauces or broths.

      What differentiates Haidilao from other hot-pot restaurants is its customer service-focused business model. Each location offers a variety of free services and entertainment while guests wait for a table, and even after they sit down. Expect to be amused with everything from board games to snacks to manicures to its signature noodle dance performances.

      The hot-pot franchise also takes birthdays very seriously. In addition to serenading the special guest with a classic “Happy Birthday” song (often in multiple languages), restaurant staff may or may not hold up a bright LED birthday sign that makes for great photo opportunities.  

      We’re sure that die-hard hot-pot fans will be excited to learn that one of the world’s most popular hot-pot chains will soon make its debut in Metro Vancouver. Stay tuned for more details.

      Haidilao was founded in China’s Sichuan province in 1994, and has rapidly expanded across the globe since. It currently operates 300 restaurants in various countries, including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S.

      Haidilao's storefront in Richmond.
      Tammy Kwan
      Follow Tammy Kwan on Twitter @ch0c0tam and Instagram @ch0c0tam.