►It has a reputation for keeping customers waiting for more than two hours for a table, and has suffered a couple of very high profile food scandals in China and in Singapore.
But the Beijing-based hotpot chain Haidilao, which has outlets from the US to Japan, has been raising eyebrows for another reason this week.
Haidilao International Holding, the hotpot restaurant’s owner, looks like it’s on track to raise 7.3bn Hong Kong dollars via its much-talked about initial public offering in Hong Kong,
The firm has priced its shares at the top end of the indicated range - HKD 17.80 - and analysts say it might end up with a market valuation of as much as USD 12bn.
Forbes recently estimated that Haidilao co-founder Zhang Yong will have a fortune of as much as USD 8.3bn after the firm has listed - making him one of China’s richest restaurant operators.
All this of course depends on how Haidilao’s shares perform in the coming months.
Some of the most anticipated tech debuts in Hong Kong this year have disappointed - and analysts say that the food and beverage industry can be just as fickle.
The growth that Mr Zhang’s hotpot chain, which he started in 1994 in China’s Sichuan Province, has seen in recent years is also quite something.
The restaurant’s global network grew from 112 at the beginning of 2015, to 273 by 2017. By half way through this year it had expanded to 341 outlets. And it’s still growing.
"As of the latest practicable date, we owned and operated 363 restaurants, which comprised 332 restaurants on mainland China, and 31 restaurants in Taiwan, Hong Kong and internationally in Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the United States," the firm said in a statement this week.
Research firm Frost and Sullivan said the hotpot chain was the fastest-growing major Chinese cuisine restaurant brand on mainland China, and globally, with revenues jumping 36% between 2016 and 2017.
研究公司“Frost and Sullivan”表示，该火锅连锁店是中国大陆和全球增长最快的主要中国餐饮品牌，2016至2017年间其收入增长了36％。
The retail portion of the firm’s shares were oversubscribed by more than five times, but whether or not investors will invest in the firm for the long term remains to be seen.
Mr Zhang meanwhile seems determined to keep expanding the chain.
About 60% of the money the firm raises through its listing has already been earmarked to finance part of its expansion plan - which could include operations as far afield as the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
该公司通过其上市筹集的资金中约有60％已经专门用于资助其部分扩张计划 - 其中包括远至英国，澳大利亚和新西兰的业务。