Business lessons from a noodle restaurant

On my arrival in Hai Duong, I was captivated by a strange scene: a long and almost endless line of cars parking in front of a restaurant, despite the fact that the traffic here was generally quite and sparse.

Never in my life had I stood in such a long queue waiting solely for…noodles.

But gradually, I understood the reason before the success of this F&B business.

  1. Do well from the smallest.

The first thing that caught my attention was hygiene issue. No matter how crowded the space got, I can hardly saw any trash on the ground.

In addition, there were always waiters on standby to make sure that every table was impeccable for the next customers.

  • To survive is to be different.

Speaking the language of marketing, I would call this differentiation strategy.

Anyone having tried Thin Noodle (Pho Thin) before is sure to recognize its distinct flavor.

Pho Thin is synonymous with briefly fried beef. Therefore, it is almost impossible to order the plain, not fatty broth.

Noodle with briefly fried beef is like cigarette. If you are not used to it, you may dislike it. But if the flavor fits your appetite, you will be addicted.

  • Never put profit first.

The space is capable of seating up to 300 customers. Nevertheless, to my surprise, there must have been approximately 100 seats left empty, both indoors and outdoors. At the same time, a long line of customers kept waiting.

For the sake of my curiosity, I asked the manager and found out that: they left those spaces empty intentionally. The total number of staff was 20 people. This meant they could only serve a maximum of 150 people if they wanted to make sure that every customer received the best service.

  • Attitude FIRST.

What left a positive impression on me was the positive attitude of a waiter.

Because the place was too spacious, the waiter had to guide me to the restroom. He did not simply show me the way. He walked me half the way to ensure I did not get lost.

From the moment I stepped in till the moment I left, I received lots of “thank you” and “goodbyes”.

For me, these little thoughtful manners would keep me coming back.

The whole experience provoked some thoughts in me. I reminisced a saying from the ‘Shark Tank’ Show:

“Maintaining ethics while doing business does not guarantee success. However, to be successful in any business, sticking to ethics is a must”.

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