There are a lot of cooking-related programs in Korea. For many Koreans, owning their own restaurant is something many dream about. This is why there are so many cooking programs on Korean T.V.

When you turn on a channel in Korea there is a high chance the show will have something to do with cooking/making food.  By the end of 2015 however more and more people went out to eat rather than stay home and watch boring cooking-related programs.  Now Korea is bring new and innovative cooking show concepts to T.V. and it is drawing a lot of viewers. 

K Star’s Gourmet Road hosted by MC Jeong Jun-ha brings in celebrities to go to restaurants and give their reviews.  It is a kind of variety show/food review show.


Another T.V. show Olive Tasty Road : Kim Min-jung(Actress) and Yura(Singer) introduces their favorite restaurants every Saturday.


JTBC Please Take Care of My Refrigerator : Guests come to the program along with their refrigerators from their own house.  Then the star chefs make food from the guest’s ingredients for the guests themselves.  There is a showdown towards the end of the show. / Kim Seong-joo(announcer), Ahn Jung-hwan(Former football player)


tvN Wednesday Food Talk : This is a Program to that talks about a variety of topics related to food. / Jun Hyunmoo(Announcer), Shin Dongyup(,Comedian) Lee HyunWoo(Singer)


tvN House Cook Master Baek : Teaches viewers how to cook delicious, easy, and fun dishes through the Broadcast Celebrity Cast./ Baek Jong-won(Entrepreneur), Kim Gook Jin(Comedian), Lee Jong-hyuk(actor), Jang Dong-Min(Comedian), Jung Joon-young(Singer-songwriter)

One of the most eye-catching program is Baek Jong-won’s program. Baek Jong-Won is not a professional chef, but teaches about cooking.

Baek Jong-won

Baek Jong-won
(cuisine researcher, enterpriser)
Born : September 4, 1966 (age 49), Yesan County in korea
Spouse : So Yoo-jin (Actoress)

Cookbang which is a combination of cooking and broadcasting has been gaining in popularity in Korea.  There Baek Jong Won founded The Born Korea which is a collection of Korean restaurant franchises. 

The Born Korea has been in Korea since 1993, and some of their restaurants include the Ssambap house and the Newmaul restaurants and Hanshinpocha, Hong Kong restaurants, and 36 domestic food company brands. Now in 2014, the thebornkorea has gotten so big that they are now about to be classified as a large enterprise.  Which many would think is a good thing however this could mean the government can step in and slow down their store expansion.   

However, from January 1st 2015, the Small and medium-sized businesses coverage criteria has been changed and TheBornKorea was classified as a small company status based on their 100 billion won sales over the last three years. 

In fact, The born Korea sales per year from 2012 to 2014 was 68.3 billion won and 77.5 billion won, to 927 billion. Now it is called a small company according to the modified criteria set by the government. Now, the ‘the born korea’ can increase their franchises and stores significantly. 

Baek Jong-won_franchises

Since the end of 2014 until the end of 2015 the number of stores increased almost two-fold, from 544 to 1046. (Excluding the direct store). It increased the number of stores mostly with coffee brand ‘Paikdabang cafes, and small food brands.

All this from just one store originally.  So how did he do it?   We wondered this as well and it became very simple.  His appearances on the above mentioned T.V. cooking programs as well as Cookbang has allowed him to get a massive viewing audience who got to see his franchises.  The shows were so successful it was able to convert those viewers into potential buyers of the franchises. 

In late May, It is expected that the Korea commission for corporate partnership’ decided to restrict the growth on restaurants again.

The ‘the born Korea’ are now wondering whether they will be included in the restrictions once again.

1 Comment

  1. Cindy
    June 1, 2017 at 2:34 am — Reply

    I’m planning to visit Korea. .I watch baek jong won – the nation’s big three show .I wonder do u have the lists of restaurant he tasted in different regions..I need the name of restaurant..or would you be kind to recommend ?
    Cindy from brunei

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