How best to prepare for pho restaurant business?  


Minht90
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Hi Cuong: I understand you have a Premium area reserved for pho restaruants topics, but would like to ask some more general questions from the perspective of someone like me: meaning I'm not in the business, but would love to get in, but cannot because I have no experience. So it seems like a chicken and egg problem for someone like me. That is, I th ink I'd be good at this and would love to make it my life long endeavor, but I can't get into it because I haven't been doing it. Hope you can shed some light to help people like me to do it right and give ourselves good chance to succeed, even though we start at nothing.

I've been lurking and reading and learning from this site which is a valuable resource. I thought it's time to ask an important question.

Thank you!

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LoveVietCuisine2
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@minht90

Also a lurker here. This question reflects my thoughts also. Would love to hear what Cuong and any other pros have to say.

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tuyethoa77
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The problem is too many people jump in thinking it's easy, and the easy answer is go get the right knowledge before starting one, I think.

The question I have is why people want to open a pho restaurant business when they have no business experience in. This doesn't seem to happen in other fields. I've never heard of someone who knows nothing about car repair but opens a car repair shop anyway.

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Dishes209
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@tuyethoa77

I think because almost all people cook at home maybe? And cooking experience is more common than car repair?

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chuynh
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Thanks for the question and it's an excellent one. For people who've never had experience with foodservice business before but want to open their own pho restaurant (or any kind of restaurant), there are some very common characteristics. Generally they fall in one or any combination the following:

  1. It's easy so they want to get into it. Or they see an upward trend and want to jump in. They've seen what others have done and it can't be all that hard.
  2. It's very profitable so they want to make a lot of money owning their own pho restaurant.
  3. They (or their family) make great food at home and want to sell it to the mass.
  4. Being an owner of a restaurant gives them some status or ego that they like to show off to family and friends. It's pretty much bragging rights.
  5. They need to earn money for a living but would rather be their own boss, and they know how to cook, so pho restaurant it is.
  6. They (mostly men) want to open a pho restaurant so their wife/son/daughter/some family member can have a place to work or have something to do. The restaurant is really not for them but for some other family members to run.

As you can see, there are many reasons why someone with no experience in pho restaurant want to open one. From the list above, most reasonable persons would say that many of these reasons are really not good reasons to open your pho restaurant. Most people have not thought through about the real reason why they want to do this. And without good reasons and commitment, they probably won't make it very far and would quit at the slightest of challenges that come their way.

In your case, I would seriously think about why you think you'd "be good at this and would love to make it my life long endeavor". Without deeply understanding the desire to do something and be willing to commit to it, it's hard to know how best to suggest how you should begin your journey. I'm not questioning your commitment and seriousness. Rather my job is too help the person see things that they may not have considered or thought of themselves.

Would love to discuss and understand further your situation. Both you and @LoveVietCuisine2 have the same question, but I'm absolutely certain that you each have vastly different reasons why you want to do this. I'm happy to discuss all different situations in this one thread. It gives everyone else a chance to learn and contribute their views and as a group everyone gets their questions answered.

I'd suggest anyone else who want to discuss their own situations to create their own posts so we can keep discussion thread on topic.

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TranTBHoa-SG
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The fact is everyone starts somewhere sometime. Nobody is born an experienced pho restaurant owner; that would be pretty odd. So the real name of the game I think, to add to Cuong's list, include the following:

  • You must learn as much as you can and there are good resources out there.
  • Get some hands-on experience not with just cooking and working in restaurants but also on running a small business, management, finance, customer service, etc.
  • Take advantage of and learn from others' mistakes, so that you don't repeat them.
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colorRoseSF
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 I th ink I'd be good at this and would love to make it my life long endeavor

Everybody says this but not all will survive. It's really not a chicken and egg problem because you need good preparation before opening any business, and the learning is part of that preparation. It's only a chicken and egg problem when you jump in the middle of it and wonder where you should start. Even professional gamblers study, practice and prepare.

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Minht90
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Thank you for all your input. I get what you're saying. I'm open and willing to learn so I have no problem doing as you suggested. I've been "researching" online and asking a few people I know owing restaurants for the last 2 years, but somehow I feel I'm not getting the right info I need. Most of the time it's either that they can't  (or are unwilling) to tell me much, or the info provided is njust too textbook generic that I'm not sure where to start. I finally found this resource and hope that I can get what I'm looking for. I'm starting to believe that free and useful information is not good enough; I'd need some hand holding as well. Hopefully someone like Cuong can help.

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