Vietnamese Chef Named One of the Most Powerful Women in Middle East
Vietnamese Foodies, famous Vietnamese cuisine restaurant chain in Dubai is founded by Lily Hoa Nguyen. The franchise has branches in Dubai including in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Burj Vista, Downtown Dubai, Time Out Market Dubai, Nakheel Mall and Dubai Hills Mall.
LiLy Hoa Nguyen, a Vietnamese expat in Dubai, born in Ho Chi Minh City, first opened the restaurant at Jumeirah Lakes Towers (Dubai). She dreamed that one day Vietnamese dishes will be found everywhere in this lavish country. Just five years later, the little owner Lily has proven to everyone that this is much more than just a dream. Recently, she was crowded one of the most powerful women of 2023 in the Middle East by the Caterer Middle East magazine.
The magazine referred to her as an exceptional businesswoman who manages to put people before profits. The Dubai Hills, another well-khown press in the Middle East, put Lily's brand “one step closer to realising the vision of offering fresh, delicious Vietnamese food UAE-wide.”
|LiLy Hoa Nguyen is an example of overseas Vietnamese who successfully promote the beauty of Vietnamese people and culture in foreign countries (Photo: VNT).
From ordinary housewife to successful businesswoman
Lily's career as a professional chef did not begin until she married to her Turkish husband and the couple move to Dubai. She teamed up with a friends to organize cooking class for people with sharing good recipes. Their cooking classes became popular and that was the start of Lily's journey to open her own restaurant.
As the founder of a Vietnamese culinary brand in a male-dominated industry, she has to overcome plenty of harsh challenges. Negative things such as gender and racial prejudice exist, but the Vietnamese chef not let those things hinder her dreams.
Not only is she a good cook, she is also a delicate manager who always appreciates the staff. According to Lily Hoa Nguyen, her staffs are precious companions.
“I am happy to see employees consider Vietnamese Foodies as a part of their lives. They [Vietnamese Foodies' staff] are the ones that give us a competitive advantage over many other players in the same market segment.”
|All employees of Vietnamese Foodies strive for the common goal: delicious food, good service quality for bigger and better busisness scale (Photo: VNT)
The secret recipe for her success at the manager position, said Lily Hoa Nguyen, is that she seeks to inspire employees to strive for specific goals, not to command them.
As a result, from only one restaurant, Vietnamese Foodies became a restaurant chain, with a new branch opened every year since the brand establishment in 2018. Looking back at the development of the brand, Lily Hoa Nguyen always considers it as a result of great teamwork, not just her own. The team also devoted to make Vietnamese traditional food become the gateway for people from foreign countries to learn about the Homeland's people and culture.
"I am extremely pleased to see that my team has really grown and has done a good job in promoting Vietnamese cuisine to international friend," claimed the female CEO.
Lily Hoa Nguyen and her employees at Vietnamese Foodies. Every year on the traditional Vietnamese New Year, she always gives lucky money to employees and feels happy thinking that with the money received, they can help their relatives in their country. (Photo:VNT)
Currently, the number of staffs across the whole restaurant chain has reached 120 employees. Lily Hoa Nguyen wants to create a good environment at the workplace, in which both male and female staff are treated with equal respect and consideration, where it is pay wage or career opportunity.
|Given the huge disparity in the percentage of women taking on leadership roles in the hospitality industry, she hopes her story can inspire women. Lily Hoa Nguyen
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