Yannis Georgoulis, a marketer born and raised on the eastern Greek island of Chios, along with his friend, Danae Makris, left Greece several years ago with the unusual mission of opening a souvlaki restaurant in Beijing.
Although they faced numerous difficulties doing business in the Chinese capital, they have already found success with their unusual business model.
A journey of the two friends to Beijing in 2012 — and a sudden hunger for souvlaki — led them to their fateful decision. And after almost one and a half years of perseverance despite many obstacles, their dream came true.
“I faced countless difficulties, the huge cultural gap, the different language and habits, the procedures for setting up a company in China and the bureaucracy. However, all these made the whole project very interesting,” said Georgoulis.
The souvlaki entrepreneur added that there are many specific requirements which must be followed in order to start up a business in China. “You can either keep up with all the laws and wait patiently, or never set up an enterprise,” he explained.
However, the two Greeks have jumped through all the hoops to make their souvlaki business a reality, and they say that people in China have warmly welcomed them.
The two young men also revealed that the Chinese find Greek people beautiful and sensual.
“The Chinese love Greece,” Georgoulis and Makris stated. “They respect Greeks not for souvlaki, but for their long history, Plato, Aristotle, Santorini, blue beaches, the Aegean Sea and their hospitality.”