The “say no to beer and alcohol” hot pot restaurant helps the owner earn more than 1 stick of gold a day

Giving up her business management position with an income of nearly 40 million VND/month, Ms. My started a business selling island hot pot in Ho Chi Minh City. Every day, the shop can sell 500-1,000 hot pots but does not sell beer or alcohol.

The owner of the hot pot restaurant likes to… take risks

At more than 6:00 p.m., 200 tables at the island hotpot restaurant on Nguyen Xi Street (Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City) were filled with customers.

50 employees are divided into 2 shifts, constantly going in and out of the kitchen area to serve the “huge” number of customers. The shop arranges a separate area to burn coal to put in the island pot, typical of Westerners.

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Staff take turns burning coal and putting it into the island pot (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

This hot pot does not use gas or alcohol stoves like other regular restaurants. It is designed with an aluminum tube in the middle, used to contain hot coals to help food stay boiling throughout the time of use.

Here, the restaurant serves 3 main types of hot pot: island hot pot, Thai hot pot and fish sauce hot pot. Among them, island hot pot is the type most favored by diners because it is rare to find this dish in Ho Chi Minh City. Each hot pot costs 160,000 VND, side dishes such as spring rolls, salad, spring rolls, etc. cost around tens of thousands of VND.

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The restaurant serves 3 types of hot pot including island hot pot, fish sauce hot pot and Thai hot pot (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

Around 8 p.m., the hot pot restaurant became more and more crowded. Ms. Nguyen Diem My (31 years old), the owner, went to each table to ask for suggestions from diners. Even though she opened the shop for 4 years, she still maintains this habit.

“The restaurant is always crowded, even on weekdays. Every day, the restaurant sells 500 hot pots, especially on holidays and Tet, it can sell 1,000 hot pots. Sometimes the restaurant has to announce that it will stop accepting customers because it runs out of dishes. soon,” Ms. My said.

Ms. My opened this hot pot restaurant in 2020. Before that, she was a business manager for a company in Ho Chi Minh City. With an income of 20-40 million/month, the girl shocked many people by deciding to quit her job to… sell hot pot.

“After graduating from university and working in an office for 4 years, I felt very constrained, always wanting to escape that safe “cocoon”. I have a passion for food, and dream of starting a business right away. Since childhood, I should… take a risk.

At that time, I still did not dare to quit my job at the company because I was afraid of not being successful. But after 1 month of opening, customers supported me so much that I quit my office job completely,” Ms. My said, smiling.

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Having a passion for food and liking to start a business, Ms. My is not afraid to quit her high-paying job to sell hot pot (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

Starting a business is not easy and requires luck

Born and raised in a farming family in Ca Mau province, Diem My was taught to cook dishes from her homeland from a young age by her mother. Among them, island hotpot is the dish that My likes to eat and cook the most.

“This hot pot dish is very special because I can only eat it a few times a year, on occasions such as death anniversaries and weddings,” My confided.

Going to Ho Chi Minh City to study and work, the girl craved this hot pot even more, but at that time there were few places selling this dish.

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The typical island pot of the West (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

“Instead of only being able to eat it a few times a year and then returning home to eat it, I asked myself ‘why don’t I cook it myself and sell it, so that people who love this dish can enjoy it?’. After that, I spent a year to come up with ideas, build a brand, and convince her parents in the countryside to come to the city to run the shop together,” the girl shared.

Ms. My said that from the beginning, she determined that the customers would be students and families, so she absolutely did not serve alcohol or beer. This has become an advantage of the restaurant and many diners choose it as “familiar friends”.

For Ms. My, starting a business is not easy and requires luck. The owner shares the secret to attracting diners is to always listen to the opinions of customers and employees; Test a little of each thing to see what customers like, then change and improve.

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The restaurant always maintains a large number of customers every evening (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

When it first opened, Ms. My’s restaurant only had 20 tables but could sell 100 hot pots every day. Diners must reserve a table in advance or arrive early, otherwise they must draw numbers and wait their turn.

“Successful starting a business is when you are truly passionate and willing to bet all your time, effort, and money on what you want to start a business. Holding less than 100 million VND in hand to start a business, many nights I couldn’t sleep, afraid to give up halfway. But my family, employees and customers motivated me,” Ms. My said.

Ingredients are always prepared by Ms. My every day, so operating costs account for 60-65% of revenue.

Seeing her business growing, she rented a larger space and bought more tables and chairs to serve. The good news spread far and wide, many diners also came to the restaurant out of curiosity.

Ms. My also hired more students and “called” some women from the countryside to come to Ho Chi Minh City to work at the hot pot restaurant. During work, if anyone has a difficult situation, My always helps. Therefore, most of the employees here have been with the restaurant for a long time.

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Most of the staff at the restaurant are students and workers from the countryside who have come to Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

Last year, Diem My also bought her first house in Thu Duc City to live with her parents. In mid-March, the girl will open a second hot pot restaurant in District 7.

“Even though the first restaurant was very crowded, it wasn’t until the fourth year that I decided to open another branch. Because I thought a lot about how to unify the flavors of both restaurants, bringing perfect quality to the food.” guest.

What I am most excited about is successfully promoting the rustic dishes and the image of my homeland’s traditional hot pot to many people in all regions,” Ms. My confided

($1~24,000 VND)
 ( According to Dan Tri)