Popular Shanghai Eatery Element Fresh Closes Shops

Not long ago, Element Fresh, a popular fresh food eatery, made the news with rumours that its bankruptcy liquidation was beginning to spread. The Shanghai-headquartered restaurant chain announced on Monday that it has closed several stores in the past month, and the company would continue to review its business conditions and make corresponding operational adjustments within the next few weeks.

The company has been suffering from the effects of the pandemic since it started, though the company said that the company profitable beforehand. The company guaranteed to provide refund service for consumers who still hold the company’s gift cards and cash gift certificates.

Element Fresh was co-founded by Scott Minoie and Sheldon Habiger. The brand was originated from a juice shop called “Element 72” which was mainly aimed at foreigners living in Shanghai.

Element Fresh continued to expand in first-and second-tier cities, having as many as 50 stores at its height, with the majority of the eateries located in Shanghai and Beijing. In September this year, the company’s newest expansion in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, was just opened.

Element Fresh also cooperated with diversified lifestyle brands such as New Balance, Oatly, Mint Health, and others while also launching food items such as vegetable meat burgers.

In early November, according to Bloomberg‘s report, Element Fresh was looking for a buyer. As the owner of the company was evaluating the interest of potential buyers, the transaction was still in its early stages and was estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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The collapse of trendy restaurants is not uncommon in the market as a whole. One of the main reasons is that trendy restaurants often become popular through publicity stunts. From the perspective of long-term market development, however, the epidemic showed consumers which shops were stunts and which were real.