Head to Head: Pham Thi Luyen and Pham Quan

The head chef and restaurant manager of Hoi An, and brother and sister, tell us about the restaurant
Pham Thi Luyen, restaurant manager
Pham Thi Luyen, restaurant manager
Pham Quan, head chef
Pham Quan, head chef

What is unique about Hoi An and how does it compare to its competitors in the market?

Pham Thi Luyen: Hoi An is the first fine-dining Vietnamese restaurant in Dubai to use traditional ingredients. The entire team, both service and kitchen staff, are Vietnamese which allows us to bring the true flavour and hospitality of Vietnam to our guests.

Pham Quan: The kitchen team works tirelessly to source traditional Vietnamese ingredients that allow us to produce authentic dishes like you would find in Vietnam. This cuisine is complemented by the enthusiastic service my sister and her team provide to the guests.

How do the front-of-house and back-of-house support each other?

Pham Thi Luyen: Our front-of-house and back-of-house teams work together as one. We make sure that we are aligned on our goals of providing guests with excellent dishes and the highest level of service.

Pham Quan: Communication between the teams is key. We hold daily briefings where we discuss the restaurant goals along with how we each can develop ourselves.

How is the pricing strategy justified?

Pham Thi Luyen: We have built great relationships with some of our guests and continuously ask for their feedback on menus, pricing and promotions. We also perform market checks on a regular basis.

Pham Quan: My team and I often go to other hotel restaurants to compare portion sizes, ingredients, and pricing to ensure that we’re in line with the market and make changes if necessary.

What will you do to ensure that the outlet is profitable?

Pham Thi Luyen: Our job in the front-of-house is to ensure that guests experience a level of service that makes them want to return to the restaurant and become repeat customers.

Pham Quan: Our kitchen staff works closely with the purchasing team to manage the food cost of the restaurant. We also develop special dishes and set menus to drive different financial results as needed.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Pham Thi Luyen: Competition in Dubai is incredibly high and there are so many options available. This can make it difficult to maintain recognition in the market, however, our team works hard to build strong connections.

Pham Quan: There are so many restaurants with strong and diverse offerings around the city but this drives us to continuously innovate which ensures our dishes stay on trend and our menus are fresh.

What does the future for Hoi An look like?

Pham Thi Luyen: With a new menu that just launched, we look forward to seeing more guests experience our new speciality dishes. In the coming years, with the arrival of Expo 2020 and other exciting initiatives in Dubai, we’re eager to welcome even more new residents and visitors.

Pham Quan: Even though we’ve just completed a new menu, we’re always sourcing new exciting dishes with inspirations each time we go back home to Vietnam. We’re looking to continue to grow and develop our team while keeping the restaurant at the top.

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