The End of a Golden Era for Hello Pizza

24 Nov 2007
Hello Pizza - logo

This news is almost two months late. Apparently I have been remiss in my pizza-eating duties recently. Nevertheless, it is earth-shattering news. Pizza news.

Hello Pizza, a Shanghai-based company which used to deliver 10 RMB pizzas to the masses of western Shanghai, was well loved by the English teachers, the students, the tight-fisted, and the poor. Its claim to fame was pizza which was “really not bad at all considering how cheap it is.” But Hello Pizza has recently changed its prices. Yes, gone are the days of (almost) 8 pizzas for $10. Now the cheapest pizza on the menu is 25 RMB (about US$3).

It makes good sense business-wise. But it definitely pushes me a little closer to ordering Papa John’s or New York Pizza instead of Hello Pizza every time I need my pizza fix.

Below are the menu scans featuring the tragic changes for you weirdos that like that kind of thing.

Hello Pizza prices during the Golden Era:

Hello Pizza - Menu (old)

Hello Pizza prices in the Greedy Capitalist Pigs Era:

Hello Pizza - Menu (new)

(Click through for Flickr page where you can click on “ALL SIZES” if you’d like to see a larger, more legible version of the menu.)

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Wow, inflation is hitting China! Fortunately, the US dollar is still very strong in its homeland. Security is tight, lifestyle is all about cheap thrills these days – very few of the champions are flamboyant with their upscale tastes.

    I can’t imagine a DIY pizza costing less than 25RMB to make at home – that’s ’cause the cost of cheese is so high.

  2. It’s really the beggining of the end for Cheap China. And we will miss it very soon…

  3. Wilson,

    I’m sure it’s partly inflation, but I’m pretty sure it was the strategy all along. In the beginning, it was the Hawaiian pizza that was 10 RMB, and the pepperoni pizza was 15. Other pizzas were 20 or more. Later they switched them up and it was the pepperoni pizza was the cheap pizza. Now, after they’ve developed a pretty good customer base, there’s no 10 RMB pizza.

    Didn’t Little Caesar’s do something similar back in the day?

  4. chinochano,

    Indeed.

  5. Fruit Family Pizza? Really?

    So how does the cheese work? Default no cheese, and six kuai buys you some mozzerella?

  6. I think inflation plays a big part in this business decision, according to the NY Times: “Food prices jumped 17.6 percent in October over the same month a year ago, while the price of pork, a staple in China, soared 54.9 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.”

    Not only will your pizza prices be skyrocketing but also everything else you buy as well.

  7. Most of u guys forget that every thing is getting more expensive, your housing, the meat you buy at the market, the veggie well everything, it gets more expensive also for the restaurants, even KFC raised their prices.
    Don’t think that the owner is trying to make more money, he have to. (and no I’m not the owner of hello pizza and he is not my friend)

  8. Jonathan,

    Yeah, the fruit pizza wasn’t real great.

    The pizzas come with cheese (except for the fruit ones), but you can pay for extra cheese.

  9. mmm at least the tuna salad still the same 😛

  10. I live in a small city in the northeast of China. I feel that my cost of living has doubled over the past several years, while my income has increased only modestly. This is partly because of the improvement of my lifestyle, but mainly because of recent inflation.

    Pizza price hike is not a big deal for me because I am basically OK without the food. Instead, I am very worried about the price of 豆腐(tofu) , which has risen by almost 100% in the past two years. The problem is really serious especially for low-income people.

  11. Also, the Kaixuan Rd location closed down!

  12. Do you guys have Jazzy Pizza in Shanghai? They had several locations in Fuzhou. It was basically a Pizza Hut ripoff, but slightly tastier than Pizza Hut, and probably about 60-70% the price.

  13. I was wondering about their logo. Is that an arm w/ a clenched fist radiating power (or pain)? Is it an “e” w/ an attitude? Is it a stylized turkey? Any insights?

  14. The pizza place that everyone went to in Harbin back in the day was ‘Pizza Mai’ (比萨麦) on Zhongyang Dajie. All of my coworkers recommended it enthusiastically and it seemed to be quite popular, Unfortunately, owners of the place, in their presumable haste to cash in on the associations of 麦 with 麦当劳, neglected to take into account that that ‘mai’ in Italian means “never.” I took them up on the advice and never did more than walk past the place.

  15. the law of demand and supply…..

    but it’s crazy, the Chinese government hasn’t really been trying to fight the inflation.

  16. John-

    This is completely unrelated to the post: Thanks for providing what I thought was last week’s chinesepod highlight:

    Jenny: 袋鼠,考拉都是澳大利亚最有名的动物,对吧?
    John: Yeah, the most famous animals in Australia…
    Jenny: Mmm.
    John: I’m sure Australians love to talk about these animals with everybody.
    Jenny: 是。
    John: (Chuckle)

    Some things still manage to get lost in translation.

  17. As a cheapskate, Hello Pizza was my pizza of choice for the first three years I was here. I found this year that quality started fluctuating, and then in early fall I found mouse poop in one of the pizza boxes, unfortunately under a pizza I’d already eaten part of. Maybe after three years of decent pizzas it’s unfair for me to write them off, but I don’t think I can stomach their products anymore. To their credit, when I called to complain, they apologized, sent someone to pick up the bad pizza, and gave me a new one to replace it.

  18. I think inflation plays a big part in this business decision, according to the NY Times: “Food prices jumped 17.6 percent in October over the same month a year ago, while the price of pork, a staple in China, soared 54.9 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.”

    Not only will your pizza prices be skyrocketing but also everything else you buy as well.

    I’ve read that they might even have to dip into the strategic pork reserve.

  19. at least the 1.5 litre coke is a kuai cheaper! lol

  20. I look at it this way. Pizza Hut really stinks Papa John makes a good pie and Hello Pizza, well Hello Pizza’s pizzas are really quite tasty. Yeah I was there when they changed their prices and it irked me but can I blame them everywhere in China prices are going up and 25 rmb for a 9″ pepp is still less then half of PJ or PH. so I’ll go back yeah I’ll go back

  21. Do me a favor and dont piss them off by calling them greedy capitalist pigs or they will raise the prices more. 25 is still less than half of what anyone else is charging and I am completely addicted to my cheap pizza. Luv ya Hello Pizza

  22. […] and send them home to his friends, who then sold them on). Our mission was to find a place called ‘Hello Pizza‘; according to the magazines this was the best pizza place in the whole of Shanghai, and cost only […]

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