13.042 Ibiga Jjambbong

Cycle 13 – Item 42

16 (Wed) February 2022

Ibiga Jjambbong

2.0

at Ibiga Jjambbong

-Gamil, Hanam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

solo

Ibiga Jjambbong is a Korean-Chinese restaurant chain.  Specializes in jjambbong.

I had never heard of it until today.

Located on a back road linking Seoul to Hanam to Seongnam, an alternate route that I take going home on occasion.

The paper placemats make 6 false/unverifiable claims about the business:

  • Korea’s first jjambbong-specialty restaurant.
  • 10 years of operation as a jjambbong brand.
  • Trustworthy patented jjammbong.
  • Approximately 50,000,000 customers served.
  • Korea’s definitive jjambbong restaurant.
  • 3 years as a 1st-tier franchise.

The website – a lengthy advertisement for franchising, nothing about the food – explains these points in greater detail.

Although unmentioned in the promotional materials, the restaurant has invested in 2 service-related technologies, presumably to enhance efficiency: touchscreen menus and robot servers.

Payment by credit card payment is required to complete the order.

All orders are placed thru the menu, located on every table.  This is becoming quite common in Korea.

Once ordered, an employee places the dishes/sides/drinks on a wheeled cart and punches in the table number, and away it goes.   This is very new to Korea.

I was vaguely reminded of the sushi delivered on race cars in Japan (see 7.268 Small Portions).

After the initial amusement quickly wore off, 3 issues came to mind:

    1. The system made service slower, as a human server could’ve hand-delivered the food within seconds, while the robot took close to a minute to glide over.  Perhaps it would speed up service at peak hours, except for potential log jams, as explained below.
    2. The cart, which was parked in between my table and the next, prevented the customer at the next table from taking his seat, leaving him standing to the side for about 30 seconds until the cart moved out of the way.  Similar log jams would occur when carts arrive at adjacent tables at the same time, especially during peak hours.
    3. Upon arrival of the cart, I had get out of my seat to reach the bowl of jjambbong and place it on the table.  This is not only a bit inconvenient but also kinda dangerous, as accidents could happen during transfers, even riskier with multiple dishes for multiple diners.

The food was strictly meh – no wonder the website doesn’t discuss it.

(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)

(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)

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