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Opening Restaurant in Vietnam – Business Guide

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April 12, 2019

Business Guide: Opening Restaurant in Vietnam

Opening restaurant in Vietnam, or coffee shop is not easy and it is an expensive process. The reality shows that a lot of restaurant owners have failed in their first year of doing business. Nevertheless, there are still many other successful restaurant owners as they had good preparation and went on the right direction. Some handy tips below may help you to run a successful F&B business:

Accumulating experiences working in a restaurant

Experience is the key to avoid mistakes and failure from the beginning. The only way to understand deeply about what you are going to do is being a part of it. The first thing you need to prepare before opening your own restaurant is working in a restaurant. You will learn more about how to serve customers enthusiastically and professionally, how to promote and do marketing for your restaurant. Moreover, you will know how to create and setup menu, recruit and train staffs, make payroll and other important components in opening a restaurant successfully.

Conducting in-depth market research

You should find out to understand what customers want; what kind of food they like most; and how competitive the market is. After that, you have to identify who your target customers are, such as students, teenagers or seniors, local people or foreigners? All of the above information will decide your menu, location, decoration and even your marketing plan. Market research also includes researching and analyzing your competitors. They are restaurants that have the same target customers. You need to figure out how they operate, what their strengths and weaknesses are, based on the market research to do a SWOT analysis for starting your business.

Developing a professional business plan

The first thing you have to do is identify short-term and long-term goals of your business.  For business plan, you need to focus on following components:

  • Financial plan: You have to decide the scale of your restaurant. The investment capital depends on your financial and human resources along with the market needs. Moreover, you also estimate your money inflow and outflow at least for the first two years.
  • Marketing plan: You can develop marketing plan based on the previous market research. You need to decide what marketing method is the most suitable, online marketing or advertising on newspaper. Marketing budget also plays a crucial role since you need to spend a lot of money on it. The cost will rise and you might run out of money soon. While you spend money well, the results would be positive. The marketing plan also includes descriptions of your foods, drink, menu, service standard, and the price for each of those.
  • Human resource plan: includes staffing system and policy.
  • Operating Plan: includes operation strategy, and a potential exit strategy.
Opening restaurant in Vietnam
Excellent Italian Restaurant in Vietnam – R&J Italian Lounge & Restaurant

Searching for a suitable location and planning for an attractive layout

It is important to look for a suitable location that has a continuous stream of traffic, convenient parking, and near other businesses. The location should be close to your target customer. If you are focusing on students, the best location will be near universities or schools area. You should be aware of the budget for locations not to double your cost. Once you decide your ideal location, the interior layout and design should be taken into account. The color and decoration need to be built on the interests of target customer.

Obtaining necessary legal licenses

In Vietnam, restaurants are regulated to apply for the Certificate of Investment first, before moving to the next step. Besides, restaurants must be granted for the Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety and obtained the Alcohol Retail License (If the restaurant wants to sell alcohol) and Cigarette Retail License (If the restaurant wants to sell Cigarette). Most regulatory agencies will work with new restaurateurs to guide them to get familiar with what they should do to meet necessary legal requirements.

Recruiting qualified employees

How many employees do you need? How much is the salary you are planning to pay them? Additionally, the staff’s benefits, complementary and other staffing policies should also be considered. One of the biggest challenges each of restaurant has to deal with is lack of qualified staffs, since they will be the main factor contributing to the quality of foods and services. Furthermore, you need to somehow know the payments of other restaurants so that you can be competitive in the job market, while not spending too much on payroll.

Operation and observation

From the beginning, you have to become a crucial part of your restaurant, and even staying there regularly. Observing everyday will help you quickly find out any shortages and weaknesses in it.  Moreover, having good cost and revenue management is the key elements to balance your business finance.

Owning and running a restaurant is not easy and not for everyone, instead, a lot of works involves that require tangible and intangible resources. However, you can rely on experts in the field to assist you in becoming a successful restaurateur.

(Source: Viettonkin Consultant Team)

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