Chapter 9 A Delectable Business Idea (Part 2)
With a taco in his left hand, Ja-hoon observed the students around him.
Some were solving exam papers, while others flipped through reference books.
Tacos were incredibly easy to eat with just one hand, much like bread.
Like tacos, bread could be held with one hand and had outer wrapping, so there was little worry of making a mess.
However, bread could be dry and require a beverage, which might distract from studying.
On the other hand, tacos contained the perfect amount of moisture from ingredients like cabbage, romaine lettuce, or tomatoes, so there was no need for a drink.
If one wished to savor the taste, dipping sauces were available, similar to sweet and sour pork.
'But wouldn't people eventually get tired of it?' Ja-hoon thought.
Tastes change, and people inevitably crave variety.
Those who love spicy rice cakes might desire fish cake soup or cold noodles and pork cutlets at times.
'Darn it, I can't figure it out.'
For the first time in his life, Ja-hoon felt a significant obstacle as he picked up a taco.
I'll think about it after I eat.'
As he took a bite, he noticed something different about the taste.
It was certainly flavorful, but something was off.
Yesterday, he enjoyed the exquisite combination of tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and chicken.
He expected the same today, but instead, he tasted the chewiness of cheese, the umami of egg rolls, and the refreshing blend of lettuce and ketchup.
The taste was slightly rich but reminded him of pizza, so he adapted quickly.
'It's like the thin crust pizza I had during my European trip last winter.
The taste is not inferior to pizza at all.'
A sudden realization crossed his mind.
'Ah! Is this guy a real monster?'
Ja-hoon initially thought of him as a crazy eccentric who boldly claimed that he, the businessman, was superior to those who provided the money.
Yet after eating tacos for almost two weeks, he understood why sales kept increasing.
'The combinations are diverse, and there's more than just one or two top-notch combinations! If a regular fast food burger has 4-5 varieties, this gives no chance to tire of it and keeps pushing new options!'
There were likely hundreds, if not thousands, of taco combinations.
Before getting tired of one flavor, a new combination was introduced.
Finding a delicious combination that appealed to everyone's tastes would be incredibly difficult, but he managed to do it every time.
“Ja-hoon, is it good?” Someone next to Ja-hoon, who was also eating a taco, asked him.
“Yeah, it's delicious.
And it's filling.
I don't feel tired after eating it.
Maybe it's because it has a lot of meat?”
Ja-hoon realized another secret of the taco.
Surprisingly, tacos provided an almost perfect balance of nutrients.
They were rich in protein from the meat and contained fresh vegetables for vitamins and dietary fiber.
Tasty and nutritionally complete, tacos were a superior alternative to rice-based lunch boxes, which relied on carbohydrates, salt, and fried foods.
In the end…
Students, who instinctively felt a decrease in fatigue and an increase in learning effectiveness, went beyond eating just one or two tacos.
Some had even replaced their lunchboxes with tacos as their main meal.
'Well, one person could purchase at least 7-8 tacos a day as a meal substitute.
Considering their appetite, it could even go up to 10 if it covers breakfast? So, sales will only continue to increase rather than decrease.
In one school alone, selling up to 3,000 wouldn't be a stretch.'
Yi Geon's business idea seemed to be delicious food at first glance.
But its true hidden value was as a perfect alternative to the traditional lunchbox.
It couldn't be helped, since tacos were already the main food in Mexico, and even a staple in some parts of the United States and Canada.
While snacks would have a saturation cycle,
This was a main dish with added variations, so it absolutely wouldn't.
Ultimately, sales would only continue to grow without limit.
The question was, why would they only supply these incredibly popular tacos to just three high schools?
'What on earth is that guy…
Ja-hoon's eyes widened as he bolted up from his seat.
“Hey Ja-hoon, where are you going? Class is over.”
“I need to see this guy.
This monstrous guy!”
Jumping up from his seat, Ja-hoon rushed to the classroom where Yi Geon was.
“Yi Geon, what on earth!”
Druru~ ('Sound of paper rustling')
'Querida Embajador de México…
Dear Mexican Ambassador,
estudiante de corea del sur…
I am a Korean student deeply immersed in Mexican food and beautiful culture…'
“Yi Geon, junior!”
As Yi Geon carefully wrote in ink pen, he was startled by someone calling out to him.
‘Ah, shoot~ Ink splattered.
I need to be careful with my handwriting.’
“Oh, Ja-hoon, senior? You're here.”
“Come out quickly!”
What's the matter, Ja-hoon, senior?”
“Come out first.”
“Ah, I have to attend class.”
Druru~ ('Sound of paper rustling')
“What's going on? Oh, it's Ja-hoon.”
The teacher, who was about to get angry, paused when he saw Ja-hoon.
I have something to discuss with Yi Geon here.
Please excuse us.”
So, it's that Yi Geon who's been selling those popular tacos lately.
Despite Ja-hoon blatantly taking Yi Geon out of class, the math teacher spoke nonchalantly.
It seemed to demonstrate that Ja-hoon held a significant influence in the school.
Well, even in 2030, high school teachers wouldn't dare to mess with someone who was at least a third-generation chaebol.
“Thank you, teacher.
Yi Geon, let's go.”
Yi Geon was led out by Ja-hoon, not knowing the reason behind it.
“Do you want a drink?”
“I'm fine, thank you.”
The two sat on the stairs in front of the sports field, feeling a bit awkward.
Yi Geon owed a lot of debt to a manager Ja-hoon had introduced him to for help with contract notarization, complicated administrative procedures, and patent registration.
Ja-hoon, on the other hand, had no grounds to demand his share in the business that was already successful, so he was in a dilemma.
“The tacos are delicious.
Where did you get the recipe?”
“Personally, I've done some research.
I have a great interest in Mexican food.”
Yi Geon couldn't say that he had learned from 2030's cooking YouTube channels, TikTok Shorts, and tacqueria chefs, as well as the Open AI Food deep learning model.
In 2030, a world where men were more adept at cooking than women emerged, with the culture of solo dining and drinking becoming more widespread.
Among them, Yi Geon enjoyed various cuisines without discriminating between Western, Chinese, and Korean dishes, using his expert-level cooking skills and recipes.
“So your confidence came from your cooking skills.
It makes sense with such a diverse and powerful collection of recipes.”
“You flatter me, senior.”
“But I have one question: how many recipes do you have left?”
It was a very difficult question to answer because, theoretically, millions of taco recipe combinations could be created.
From kimchi fried rice tacos to pizza roll kelp roll tacos, he could create an unlimited number of variations without discriminating between Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine.
So, due to the difficulty of the question, Yi Geon just gave a cool smile.
“Hahaha, that's a top-secret company matter.
It's such sensitive proprietary information that I can't share it even with you, my senior.”
“Oh, you know about proprietary information? Did you self-study business?”
“Well, I'm more of a hands-on learner, so the details are a secret.”
Yi Geon had not only superficially self-studied business but had also developed numerous unique business models in his first life.
From illegal overseas sports betting, parallel imports of genuine and counterfeit products, to building an all-in-one site satisfying both repairs and reforms.
Although all were illegal, Yi Geon had made a fortune in his first life.
“It's hard to believe you're just a freshman, Yi Geon.”
But I wonder why you would go out of your way to compliment me and even take time out of your precious senior year to come to a freshman classroom.”
Ja-hoon laid the groundwork for Yi Geon, who was trying to change the subject.
“Hahahaha, well, I do feel sorry for taking up your time, but it's also true that I've saved you time.”
“I cannot thank you enough for that, senior.”
“Then it's alright for me to express my regrets?”
With a short, sarcastic laugh, Yi Geon crossed his arms leisurely.
“Senior, do you want a share of the Taco Max business I've established?”
“Well, it's not appropriate to say it outright now, but looking at its potential for growth, it's quite tempting.
In 3-4 years, it might even reach revenues of 10 billion won.”
Hearing that, Yi Geon strongly felt that Ja-hoon was still a rookie.
No matter how he was a seasoned crocodile in Yeouido in his first life, that happened in his mid-30s to 40s.
He was merely a high school senior now.
Of course, even a young crocodile could be terrifying with its keen sense and greed.
“Senior, to be honest, I'm disappointed that you're underestimating your junior.”
“What are you talking about?”
Ja-hoon seemed to understand that Yi Geon did not intend to give up his shares and his expression hardened.
“Senior, do you see me as a small-timer, merely aiming for 10 billion won in sales within 3-4 years?”
“Then what exactly—”
“The minimum number of tacos I aim to sell this year is 300,000 a day.
Does that look like a mere 10 billion won to you?”
Ja-hoon's eyes widened in shock.
If Yi Geon was aiming for a daily sales volume of 300,000 tacos, that meant he could expect annual sales of at least 20 billion won—an enormous sum.
And considering the astonishing profit margin of tacos, he could expect operating profits of between 6 and 8 billion won.
If the average PER in the food industry were to be applied, the market cap would be an insane 40 to 50 billion won.
And if this year's target was 20 billion won, next year's market cap target would have to be even higher.
“It's crazy to think that a company worth 100 billion won in market cap in just 2-3 years could be built on tacos alone.
That's truly an insane level!”
“Yes, Senior, that's exactly the kind of man Yi Geon is.
Have you understood that about me now?”
“Ah, it's surprising.
Honestly, your capabilities are so outstanding that it's a bit frightening.
But still, I have no choice but to request a share of your company.”
At that, Yi Geon seemed satisfied and casually leaned forward, uncrossing his arms.
“I welcome reasonable investment conditions.
For me, investing isn't about short-term gains, but rather connecting the startup with the investor's network and various connections for mutual cooperation.
It's a benefit for me as well, as I want to reduce the time wasted on procedural actions.”
Ja-hoon held his head as if it had suddenly gone numb.
He had only thought about the investment capital, but Yi Geon was valuing intangible assets beyond that.
He had never seen anyone like this before.
It was incomprehensible.
The things Yi Geon was saying seemed like they could only come from someone with extensive experience in management.
“Hahaha, honestly, I'm more interested in you, Yi Geon, than in the shares.
Alright, let's discuss the conditions first.”
Yi Geon was not the type to obediently state the conditions first, as Ja-hoon suggested.
Instead, he began by explaining the specific steps of his phase 2 business plan.
“According to the 3-step plan written in the investment proposal, I want to create a company that provides a complete solution for food production, sales, and marketing.
To build a production plant capable of producing 300,000 HACCP-certified tacos a day in a short period of time, we need high-level food safety experts, a production automation team, and mission-specific management facilities connected to a total solution terminal.”
that sounds familiar.
Ah, right! I heard that the legislation process is underway to introduce it within a few years through the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.”
'Ah, that's right.
It hasn't been introduced yet.'
As expected of a third-generation chaebol, Ja-hoon was well-informed about the government's movements.
He even knew about the HACCP certification system, which still had a long way to go before being introduced domestically.
It was truly astonishing.
“So, how much of a stake can you give in return for investing in the factory?”
“Based on my calculations, about 2.5 billion won will be required.
However, we plan to outsource some items for processing and manage the supply chain only for raw materials.”
Yi Geon's intention was to adopt a production system from 2030 directly.
However, 1993 was the era of vertical integration where companies handled everything themselves, so Ja-hoon felt a bit skeptical.
To follow Yi Geon's plan, they would have to rely on outsourcing for quality control (QC).
This was particularly not an easy task, especially for fresh processed food products.
“Outsourcing food is quite rare.
Will that be okay?”
“As long as we manage QC well.”
“It won't be easy.
If a food product has an accident, it's over.”
“I'm more confident in QC than anything else.”
Yi Geon was so good at QC that he had even buried a company president under rubble after causing a QC bottleneck in his first life.
Ja-hoon was secretly uneasy, but the opportunity seemed too big to pass up, so he decided to trust his instincts and take a bold step once again.
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