Dubai: Restaurant owner continues tradition, donates full-day profit to staff on Lunar New Year

This year, she also gave out special loyalty awards to employees who have been part of her five-year-journey to celebrate her success with them


Lamya Tawfik

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Published: Sun 22 Jan 2023, 3:09 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Jan 2023, 5:53 PM

For the fifth year in a row, the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant chain gave the entire profit made on Saturday (January 21) from all five branches to her employees to celebrate Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Lily Hoa Nguyen, Owner and Executive Chef of Vietnamese Foodies, honoured the Vietnamese ‘red envelope’ tradition by sharing the festive celebration with her team. “This year marks the biggest Employee Day of Vietnamese Foodies so far with revenue from our Lunar New Year’s Eve shared with 120 employees,” she said, adding that this year, she also gave out special loyalty awards to employees who have been part of her five year- journey to celebrate her success with them.

“I am really happy to see the team growing and becoming stronger every day, as they are our motivation and our strength to succeed,” she said.

Vietnamese Foodies' journey started as a cooking Facebook page when Lily lived in Turkey and then later in Dubai. The interest in her content gave her the idea to open a restaurant in 2018 with no professional F&B experience.

She was one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in the city at the time, and today, she has opened in five locations and won many awards, not to mention the hearts of her employees.

"As an employee in Vietnamese Foodies, I feel honoured to be part of such a great fast-growing company that takes care of its staff. Having a share of the revenue of Lunar New Year's Day makes me feel not only working for the company but part of it as a family member," said Remon Botros, the Operation Manager.

Lily sets a good example of taking care of staff members. During the pandemic, she made sure that no staff was let go and was supported by her husband, who sometimes delivered food at the time.

Speaking to Caterer Middle East magazine last year, Lily said: “The way that we look after staff and boost morale is through being there for them through thick and thin. During the pandemic, for example, we went through a very difficult year, but we didn’t let anyone go due to the pandemic and we didn’t cut anyone’s salary. We always made sure that our team was taken care of and in safe accommodation,” she said.

Lunar New Year, or Tết as it is known in Vietnam, is a time for family and friends to gather, as well as a time to invite luck and good fortune for the year ahead. A hallmark of Tết are Hong Pao, or red envelopes, which contain a symbolic amount of money typically given by elders to younger family members.


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