Vietnamese phở, a flavorful and nutritious dish, has won hearts globally, representing Vietnam’s rich culinary heritage. Phở’S restaurant, initially a family-owned business with six locations, has transformed into a prominent contender, gaining recognition across Vietnam. With professional design and efficient management, it now aims for global expansion. Interview with Nguyen Tien Hai, COO & Cofounder of Phở’S, a Vietnamese phở restaurant that has rising in the franchise industry. Learn about their journey, concept, brand identity, and future plans, while gaining valuable tips for success in the franchise industry.
1. How did you enter the franchise business?
We have been in the F&B business for around 10 years as a boutique family business before the pandemic. After the pandemic, however, when franchising is booming in Vietnam. Recognizing the potential of the industry, we have registered for the Go Global Franchise Accelerator Program managed by Ms. Nguyen Phi Van, a renowned franchise expert in Vietnam and internationally, and have been expanding as a franchisor ever since, both domestically and progressively in Asia.
2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?
Our core product is our iconic national dish – Phởo, world-renowned Vietnamese beef noodle with a rich golden brown stock pairing with a variety of toppings. Phởo is a comfort food for Vietnamese that is always served as hot as possible. Our concept therefore derives from the idea of making people feel as comfortable as being at their grandma’s home – comfortable & fulfilled.
3. What inspired the brand name?
Vietnam shapes like the letter S. We want to represent our country in every way so that was how we came up with the name. Pho’S also means everything inside of a bowl of Pho. Beside that, S is also the first letter of the world “Healthy” in Vietnamese – which means “Suc Khoe”.
4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?
Our logo visualizes the S shape and it also represents the Pho rice noodle and its continuity. The colors also are the two main colors
of our national flag – red and yellow.
5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?
We focus on giving our customers the best quality food that also has lot of nutrients in it as we cook our Pho in a very healthy recipe combining Vietnam Ginseng being slow-cooked in a giant nourishing porcelain pot. That also goes out to our franchisees as they will get those benefits alongside with our continuous support in every aspects to ensure their success.
6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?
We look for people who are passionate about serving this iconic national dish to their customers, caring for customer experience, managing the business professionally and sustainably with a dedicated heart.
7. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?
Its ranging from 12 – 16 months for our franchisee to realize their investment.
8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
The major challenge I’ve faced in my earlier career was maintaining products’ quality, especially the pho stock. If the stock is boiled individually at each store, consistency won’t be there. If the stock is cooked and distributed in liquid form and delivered to the stores, there are risks that the stock may go stale in the process. However, with continous R&D, we have been able to apply the freeze-dried manufacturing process for our stock, thus keeping the product quality consistent from now on wherever we expand, both domestically and internationally.
8.1 What is your best achievement?
We have been successful in re-launching our brand and model, from very locally-focused to an all-new international model under the Go Global Franchise Accelerator program and have now been able to reach out to the world for potential franchise partnership.
9. How does your business day start?
My day starts with a bowl of Pho to give me energy and also checking on the quality. I will then proceed with reviewing the reports to analyze the performances of our stores, followed by identifying actions needed to take in order to improve or maintain the qualities of our works.
10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?
That would be seeing my franchisee succeeding with their career, making great impacts in their life and others.
11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
I would like to see our brand being presented both domestically and internationally, representing Vietnam local specialties in every way.
12. Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?
Committing and be faithful to your business and it will reward you with good outcomes.