Local F&B businesses take different strategies after social distancing

With social distancing measures eased, some F&B businesses have gradually restarted operations, with some even opening new branches.

Viva International Joint Stock Company opens a fifth coffee kiosk with free public toilets. — Photo tint.vn

Ca phe Ong Bau, a coffee shop chain owned by Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group; Vo Quoc Thang, chairman of Dong Tam Joint Stock Company; and Tran Thanh Hai, president of Nutifood Company; opened its first branch in the capital city on May 8.

The chain has opened some 40 shops across Viet Nam since the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, the firm plans to have 1,000 cafes nationwide by the end of the year.

Similarly, Le Thi Ngoc Thuy, chairman of Viva International Joint Stock Company, has just opened a fifth coffee kiosk with free public toilets.

Thuy also expects to launch a take-away service soon.

Thuy’s kiosks are located in the downtown areas of HCM City. Thuy is now surveying new locations to expand her services and plans to replicate this model, including through franchising.

Famed for his banh mi thanh long (dragon fruit bread), the ‘King of Bread’ Kao Sieu Luc, founder of ABC Bakery said he will expand to Nha Be District and District 7 in HCM City.

Luc sees COVID-19 as “an opportunity to spend time researching new products and training personnel”.

After the pandemic, Luc says: “We are now more than ready to meet the needs of the market.”

Luc thinks: “The impact on the F&B industry is no longer too great, because the Government has relaxed social distancing. By June and July, we will recover."

Other F&B businesses have partially opened and are watching the market.

 

To date, Golden Gate Group has reopened 95 per cent of its restaurants.

A representative of the group with nearly 400 restaurants of more than 20 brands across the country said they planned to reopen each restaurant based on customer demand.

For the Cheese Coffee chain, founder and CEO John Trung Nguyen said: "We are not yet in a hurry to develop a new branch.”

The CEO planned to expand the chain before the pandemic, however now he just wants to concentrate on improving the quality of the current 10 stores while waiting for a reasonable time to expand.

Owner of seven Ngon restaurants, which serve local cuisine in Ha Noi, Pham Thi Bich Hanh will reopen her chain on May 15.

She told Viet Nam News: “I waited for a month with no new COVID-19 community transmision to reopen as I want my diners to feel safe when enjoying their food.”

Before the pandemic, Ngon restaurants were busy serving in-house customers so did not take online orders.

Now things have changed. Hanh, who loves the experience of being served in a restaurant, now says: “There are new demands after the pandemic, and I won’t miss them.”

"As a business, I am always ready for change, and I am sure that online services will be a good channel after the pandemic," Hanh said. — VNS

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