Back in December 22,2017, Thuy Tien, one of the many small business operators in Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), left a message via Facebook for an organic F&B company, for an order of several foodstuffs for a family party, including Australian beef, lamb ribs, Norwegian tuna and fruits and veggies.

This is the common scenario across Ho Chi Minh. The many hotels and luxury suites in Saigon, who seek to market their food and beverages services to small business owners like Mr. Tien, are facing competition from rivals like food courts, restaurant chains and food supply companies.

According to an F&B Director Mai who operates in the city,  hotels and luxury suites in Saigon are aiming their F&B services to small businesses on account of how F&B, combined with room services, account for a large part of revenues for hotels, not just in the city, but across the world. As such, losing F&B customers to competition would lead to hotels taking a big hit.

Mr. Tien says that he goes for these new services due to their convenience, as, before, he says he had to go to the supermarkets in order to organize parties and buy supplies. This was troublesome, he adds, as he prefers to make dishes at home, which these new services allow for with delivery. In addition to that, the food company that Mr. Tien orders from also offers special spices, as well as cooking lessons, for ease and convenience.

The number of clients ordering for parties have gone done due to the boom in centres dedicated to such events. Meanwhile, walk-in customers and office workers now prefer to get their meals in food courts, instead of the hotel’s food area.

Mai says, that customers with a desire for French , Italian or other exotic dishes would usually go to hotels, at least in the past, but now, restaurants that specialize in such cuisine across Saigon have popped up, particularly on the Hai Ba Trung and Le Thanh Ton streets.

Deputy General Director Lam Quang Huy of the 5-star Grand Hotel located on Dong Khoi, who admitted that there was, in fact, competition with restaurants, whilst Marketing Director Hoang Minh Chau of the Liberty Hotel Group says that hotels need to create differences in what they provide.

Mai, however, says that hotels can still attract customers, since they, the luxury hotels and luxury suites in Saigon in particular, offer space for work and offer professional service.

About Author: Christopher Williams