Three RMIT Vietnam alumni are well on their way to be the next big thing in the country’s rapidly rising fast food industry.
The past year saw the launch of Mr Potato by Nguyen Le Minh Nhut, Salad beets by Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet and Taco Cart by Nguyen Viet Anh.
A graduate of RMIT Vietnam’s Bachelor of Business (Business Information Systems) program, Nguyen Le Minh Nhut, 25, is founder and CEO of Outside the Box, which runs fast food restaurant Mr Potato.
Nhut, who previously worked for Atlantic Commodities, opened his third Mr Potato in December at 100 Hung Vuong Street, Hung Vuong Square, District 5.
Unlike the big names in the business who serve fries on the side, Nhut’s business makes the humble potato the main attraction by applying various cooking styles and offering over 20 sauce options.
The originality flows from the food to the theming at Mr Potato, with its light yellow paint and quirky decorations inspired by iconic architecture from around the world.
“Fries are a popular street food in large cosmopolitan cities in the United States so I decided to introduce it here,” Nhut said, who spent three months eating the potatoes he learnt to cook as well as a month to make the sauces.
Queen of salad
Also taking inspiration from popular convenience foods in cities worldwide is alumnus Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, a graduate of RMIT Vietnam’s Bachelor of Commerce program.
Nguyet is bringing healthy and fresh salads to Ho Chi Minh City as founder of Beets at 98 Ham Nghi Street, District 1.
As the only salad bar in the city, Beets is seeing the benefits of being a pioneer in this type of convenience food.
Since its opening in October 2014, anyone with a craving for a healthy and tasty meal now have their destination thanks to the restaurant’s diverse salad options.
“Beets aims for success as a business but to also be a trend-setter in healthier and greener lifestyles,” Nguyet said, who has plans to open more salad bars in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
In Hanoi, recent graduate of RMIT Vietnam’s Bachelor of Commerce program Nguyen Viet Anh has seen four months of successful operation for his business Taco Cart at 106 Chua Lang, Dong Da District.
Given the city’s northern climate and heavy traffic, Viet Anh’s cart, which is the first and only in Hanoi, remains in the one spot where it offers tasty Mexican dishes along with the familiar Vietnamese trà đá (cold tea).
Viet Anh has made some tweaks to his dishes to suit Vietnamese tastes, such as reducing the cumin powder for a softer tortilla.
“From the very start, I wanted to introduce something totally new in the fast food market and I’m lucky to have made it happen with Mexican cuisine,” Viet Anh said, with his business targeting a small audience of curious passers-by, university students and foreigners who miss their home cuisine.
This story was first published in RMIT Vietnam's Exchange magazine.