This Korean-language article, titled "Content Analysis of the New York Times on Korean Restaurants from 1980 to 2005," examines Americans' perceptions of Korean restaurants by analyzing New York Times articles, which reported on 90 Korean restaurants in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area between 1980 and 2005. The newspaper focused on a few specific New York City Korean restaurants, including Woo Lae Oak, Han Bat, Do Hwa, Bop, Cho Dang Gol, Hangawi, and Dok Suni. According to the New York Times, Americans were largely dissatisfied with the language barrier, inadequate dessert selections, shabby interiors, and other aspects of service in Korean restaurants. Additionally, the Times reported that Korean restaurants had not done a good job of promoting themselves. 

It should be noted that this article is somewhat dated. Since the original publication of this article in 2008, the Korean government has prioritized promoting Korean food as one of its global brands (alongside the Korean language and K-pop). The popularity of Korean cuisine and restaurants among non-Korean customers has exploded in the New York-New Jersey area, as well as in various other locales around the United States. Additionally, it seems that New York-New Jersey Korean restaurants have shown marked improvement in terms of service, English-fluency, interior aesthetics, and marketing/promotion.

We have previously posted other articles by Kyou-Jin Lee and Mi-Sook Cho about Korean food and restaurants on the Korean American Data Bank. Professor Pyong Gap Min, the director of RCKC, is writing a chapter on Korean food in the New York-New Jersey area for a forthcoming book, and he has benefitted immensely from this particular article.

This article was originally published in the Journal of Foodservice Management Society of Korea, Vol. 11, No. 1. We would like to thank the journal for allowing us to post this article on the Korean American Data Bank.

Below is a short excerpt from the article:

2008년 미국 외식산업은 전년도에 비해 4.4% 성장할 것으로 예측되며 전체 규모는 94만 5,000개의 업소에서 1,310만명을 고용하고 약 5,580억 달러의 매출을 올릴 것으로 예상되고 있다(NRA 2008). 미국 외식산업은 17년간 지속적으로 성장하여 현재 미국 GDP의 약 4%를 차지하는 규모가 되었다. 이에 따라 이민자들의 다양한 민족음식을 판매하는 민족음식점도 증가하고 있는 실정이다. 특히 비만이 미국인의 주요 건강문제로 대두된 이후 아시안 푸드는 저열량의 건강음식으로 자리 잡고 있다. 아시아 음식 중에서 이미 오래 전부터 뿌리내린 일식과 중식을 제외하고라도 태국과 베트남 레스토랑이 경쟁력을 높이면서 미국 전역에서 성장하고 있는 것과는 달리 한식은 여전히 소수를 위한 음식에 머물고 있는 실정이다. 미국 내 한식당은 한국인 이민자가 많은 LA의 한인타운, 뉴욕 맨해튼의 32번가 코리아타운과 뉴저지 지역에 모여 있으며 과거에는 주로 현지 한인들을 대상으로 운영되어 왔다.

 

 

 

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the history of Korean restaurants in Manhattan, New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. These Korean restaurants were the pioneers in the globalization of Korean food. "Mi Cin" is presumed to have been the first Korean restaurant in Manhattan and opened on March 1, 1960. We can estimate that there were four Korean restaurants in Manhattan in the 1960s. The number of Korean restaurants increased to more than 18 in the 1970s, and their main menu items were divided into three types: Korean fusion menus, such as "Lunch Special," for American customers, the beef barbecue menu for American and Korean customers, and Korean traditional menus for the increasing numbers of Korean immigrants.

This article was originally published in Journal of the Korean Society of Food Culture (No. 6, Vol. 26, December 2011), a journal based in Korea. We acknowledge the editor of the journal for giving the Center permission to post the article on Korean American Data Bank. The author, Dr. Kyou-Jin Lee, stayed at our Center as a visiting scholar in the 2010-2011 academic year. 

 

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