Vietnamese Foodies’ Lunar New Year tradition helps with growth and staff retention
Vietnamese Foodies is once again giving back to its team in celebration of Lunar New Year. All its revenue - minus food costs - generated at the brand’s five Dubai locations on 21 January (the eve of the celebration) was shared amongst the restaurant’s 120 staff members.
Lunar New Year, or Tết as it is known in Vietnam, is a time for family and friends to gather, as well as a time to invite luck and good fortune for the year ahead. A hallmark of Tết are Hong Pao, or red envelopes, which contain a symbolic amount of money typically given by elders to younger family members.
SME10x explored why the tradition and what this means to Lily Hoa Nguyen, Owner and Executive Chef of Vietnamese Foodies.
Nguyen said, “Our strength lies in our team. It is due to their hard work and dedication that we have grown so fast across Dubai with a wonderful customer base. We decided to start this tradition back in 2018 during our first year of operation at our first location because most of our staff working in Dubai are away from their families. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is a very special occasion where everyone celebrates togetherness by gathering with their loved ones. We try to bring joy and happiness to our team through emulating this ritual as it is in our home country. This year, now with five locations and 120 team members, the tradition is stronger than ever.”
According to Nguyen, Vietnamese Foodies has been growing over 100 percent year on year. “One of the key factor that enabled this success is the strength of our dedicated team because they feel like this is their family and they feel that they truly belong,” she added.
The outlet’s Lunar New Year’s celebrations are part of a wider ethos towards its team and their growth. Along with other initiatives, the annual tradition has impacted the business as well as its staff retention in a very positive way, as it reflects its interest in their (staff) growth and happiness.
Remon Botros, Operation Manager at Vietnamese Foodies, commented, “As an employee in Vietnamese Foodies, I feel honoured to be part of such a great fast growing company that takes care of its employees, and having a share of the revenue of Lunar New Year’s Day makes me feel part of it as a family member.”
Because it is revenue sharing, the amount the staff is getting on the day varies depending on the revenue generated on that day. This year, because Lunar New Year falls on a Saturday, the team members are getting more than 500 dirham each, said a statement from the company. This year is the fifth year that the home-grown restaurant undertook the tradition.