Acclaimed Flushing-based Dumpling Galaxy is planning a second, much smaller outpost — one that will serve as a model for a national expansion plan.
Chef-owner Helen You is setting up a fast-casual shop inside Flushing’s Super HK Supermarket at 3711 Main St., where she’ll offer 10 to 12 different dumplings, a tiny fraction of what her sit-down restaurant offers a few blocks down the street. Once the build-out is completed by the end of this year, the smaller model will be used to market Dumpling Galaxy to franchisees from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles.
It’s a partnership with QSR Franchise Development Group, and the plan is expected to roll out early next year. The franchise outposts will be no larger than 500 to 700 square feet, and they will offer a few of You’s Chinese side dishes alongside the dozen or so dumpling options, QSR founder Steven Gardner says. The same company is also helping hot dog favorite Papaya King with its national expansion.
Dumpling Galaxy debuted its universe of dumplings in a sit-down restaurant inside Flushing’s Arcadia Mall in 2014. Known for the 100-plus versions of dumplings on its menu, the Chinese restaurant snagged a glowing one-star review from the Times that same year.
You, who tells Eater that her diners say they’re traveling from Florida and California, is set on bringing her recipes to a larger audience. Last year she published The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook, and now she’s ready to expand her brick-and-mortar restaurant beyond Queens. “I want to set up more locations, and bring it closer to people so everybody can get my dumplings easily,” she says.
She will focus on large metropolitan areas first and is looking into university campuses as potential homes for the express-version of her restaurant. You plans to open no more than 10 locations within the first two years, and will require every franchisee to purchase ingredients directly from Dumpling Galaxy to ensure quality remains the same.
You hopes to debut Dumpling Galaxy’s second Flushing outpost at the Super HK Supermarket by the end of the year, and the expansion is expected to kick off in 2019.