Copy Newsletter November 2015
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The Business of Pho Restaurant and Serving Pho
Hello phở restaurant operator:

Happy Holidays! Regardless of your religion or belief, Phở is kind of a religion, right? So let's give the pho business some good attention this month.

Especially during holidays and other special days, when most everyone else is taking a day off to celebrate whatever they celebrate, we're the ones who work the hardest to serve pho to the mass. And because pho is our religion, it is THE reason for our operation to be efficient.

Efficiency is one of the key differentiators between pho restaurants making profits and pho restaurants just getting by.

This month, I'm sharing in this newsletter topics on restaurant efficiency. Efficiency encompasses both the physical layout the pho restaurant and the process you and your staff must follow to run the business within that space. For existing restaurants, there's not much you can do about the way your space is laid out, but you can still do a lot with processes, policies, and training.
Even if you're already running a pho restaurant, I hope you still find some valuable and usable ideas here.

For new concepts in the planning stage, paying attention to efficiency is one of the best things you can do now to assure profitability for years after you open. 

Last but not least, this month I have 2 Photos of the Month being featured at the end of the newsletter. This time it's all about art. Check 'em out, I think you'll like them.

Cuong Huynh

Tips For Your Pho Restaurant's Design of Front and Back of the House

Tips For Your New Pho Restaurant's Front and Back of the HouseWhether you're already running a pho restaurant or designing a new one, here are some tips for successful design and operation.

For both front of the house and back of the house, there are important considerations to pay attention to.

These include both 1) the way your space is laid out and how all your equipment are installed, and 2) the way your staff operates in and around that space. It's all about efficiency in everything you do. In this article, I offer some ideas to incorporate efficiency into your operation, new or existing.

If you're a pho customer, then this article gives some insights into how a good pho restaurant has been (or should be) designed to serve customers like you every day. Next time you're at your favorite pho place, take a look at how they run their business to serve you that bowl of pho. You'll probably either like it, or not like it very much.

Read more... Tips For Your New Pho Restaurant's Front and Back of the House

Hidden Secret of a Good Pho Restaurant Floor Plan

Hidden Secret of a Good Pho Restaurant Floor PlanWhat's the big deal about restaurant floor plan? For one thing, it impacts how you do business more than you think.

Your pho restaurant floor plan reflects your concept and how you intend to operate your business. It's a big part of your plan submission to city and health authorities for obtaining a license. It's also what your general contractor will use to build out the space for you.

And it's also an important tool to help you manage your team in everything leading up to your grand opening and beyond. But what's the real purpose of a good pho restaurant floor plan? Here's the secret.

For someone with no experience with restaurant operation, it's just a collection of drawings of equipment pieces arranged in a given space, maybe for some good reason but not sure what. But a trained professional can look at a floor plan and tell whether it's a good or not so good plan. This is one reason why many restaurant floor plans are kept proprietary at least throughout the buildout period.

If an owner knows what she wants to do with her restaurant, then it will show on the floor plan. If an owner knows how she wants to train her employees, then it will show on the floor plan. If an owner knows how to ensure a safe workplace, control labor and inventory costs, encourage efficient employee operation and teamwork, give customers great service, and maintain or even improve food quality, then it will all show on the floor plan too.

That's how important a good pho restaurant floor plan is. It's an indication of what's to come for your business long after the honeymoon period of grand opening is over.

Read more... Hidden Secret of a Good Pho Restaurant Floor Plan

Controlling Food Costs of Your New Pho Restaurant

Controlling Food Costs of Your New Pho RestaurantWhat's efficiency got to do with food costs? Actually a lot. If not managed correctly, food costs can easily break your pho restaurant.

Being efficient means achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

For me, the definition above is an important secret to maximize my profitability.

Ridiculous it may sound, if you don't control your food costs, you may as well receive only 80-90% of your order from your delivery guy, and tell him to take the rest back without adjusting your invoice. That's how much it can add up.

While issues of food costs are easily understood by many people, I actually know many operators who don't do much to understand, track and manage their own food expenditures. I hope this article can convince and help some to take some serious action to change that.

Read more... Controlling Food Costs of Your New Pho Restaurant

Photo of the Month #1
Jupiter Flyby - View From Pho Restaurant #1

Jupiter Flyby - View From Pho Restaurant #1

Many do not know that I have a love for art and I'm an artist and create arts myself. For many years, I've been doing large format acrylic paintings on canvas. But now I want to take it digital to share my art to a wider audience. The one above is called "Jupiter Flyby - View From Pho Restaurant #1".

I created a series of paintings called Jupiter Flyby, which depicts view from inside different rooms of a spaceship flying by the planet Jupiter. The one above is view from a pho restaurant #1. Other works in the series include view from bathroom, view from dining room, view from kitchen, view from library, etc.

I also do commissioned work to create views from other people's rooms, and people oftentimes request their personal objects included in the art piece. For private owners, these can display well with many modern home decors. For businesses, these are excellent as wall murals in lobbies, restaurant walls, office waiting areas, etc. When captured with the essence of a business, these murals can provide a conversation piece and a cool backdrop to a memorable customer experience.

You can see more artwork at my new creative portfolio. So please check 'em out and leave a comment or even critique.

Photo of the Month #2
A Bowl of Bún Bò Photo Essay

Eating Noodles photo essay by Adam Jacobi

Staying on the subject of art for this month, here's a photo essay in B&W:
"One thing all humans have in common is that we have to eat. In fact most of us love to eat.", said Danish photographer and documentary maker, Adam Jacobi.

If you haven't seen these photos, you should check 'em out. 

Each photo has its own personality, capturing the subject in the process of eating bun bo Hue. Adam Jacobi captured the essence of Viet people and Viet life very well. I think you'll agree with me, these are much more than just photos of people eating bun bo Hue. Everything in each frame is so Vietnamese; the person, the look, what they wear, their look, their expressions, how they eat, the food, the surrounding. Everything is captured well.

Love those drops of sweat on her little nose.

Click on the photo above to see all photos, or follow this link Eating Noodles photo essay by Adam Jacobi.

Need cost-saving guidance to open a new pho restaurant?

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If you follow my advice, and you are not able to achieve the goals set out for your pho restaurant, then I will return your money or will work until your goals are accomplished with no additional fees.

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