While the Corona-related shutdowns and “stay home” orders might be causing inconveniences to some of us given the inability to follow our regular lifestyle choices to the same degree; some others in or around our community have been suffering financially to a degree that it might pose existential risks for some business owners.
Especially the sectors who derive a large part of their income from tourism and/or people going out and about are currently forced to keep on going with a fraction of their income.
In these daring times it’s time to pull together as a community and #supportyourlocal.
While it is concurrently hard for doing so while being confined to our homes and unable to hold our casual weekly (offline) meetups and thereby support our favourite local F&B business and regular venues, we came up with the idea to drive some well-deserved attention to our regular venues who’ve been catering us reliably with their mouth-watering dishes from places all across the world over the past couple of years.
We’re starting off today with Italiani’s, led by the two young local F&B entrepreneurs Hung Bui & Lê Nguyễn Thảo Nguyên who have started out their journey in the hospitality business in 2016 and since then expanded their operations to two further locations in town.
Besides being a regular venue host for our local meetups; their situation within the community is also a special one as the home of some of the first Bitcoin ATM’s in Vietnam as well as serving as our demo environment for transactions conducted on Bitcoin’s emerging second layer, the Lightning Network.
Bitcoin Saigon: Hi Ariel! Thanks for taking the time to respond in this challenging time for the F&B industry in Saigon! Our first question: When and how did you decide to enter the F&B space which is known as a very competitive sector to operate in?
Ariel: I had always dreamt of running my own business or I would say a restaurant or cafe serving great food. Always dreamt of talking to my customers and enjoying cooking and meeting new people. The sector is highly competitive but easy to enter.
Bitcoin Saigon: What drove your decision to open your business in Saigon? Is there anything that makes this place a special one for you? Any personal stories you might want to share?
Ariel: Saigon is an incredibly young and energetic city, most of the city population is under 30, so they are more open-minded and more likely to try new things.
Bitcoin Saigon: How has Corona affected your business operations? Do you anticipate any lasting changes in the local F&B industry or do you expect that things will be pretty much up to normal within a few months’ time?
Ariel: It has been very challenging. Our businesses are located in prime locations and rely heavily on dine-ins, so delivery alone cannot cover the costs of our operations. Many restaurants have closed down permanently, and people have less disposable income in general; so I think the F&B scene will change for sure. Only the ones that can manage their finance very well can survive.
Bitcoin Saigon: Once this whole Corona story is over: Why should people come & visit Vietnam?
Ariel: Because after all, Vietnam is still a destination boasting affordability, incredible nature, intriguing culture and so much more.
Bitcoin Saigon: Italiani’s is currently still operating its delivery service - what would be your recommendation of the day from the menu?
Ariel: Definitely Four cheese Pizza - an authentic Italian pizza to satiate your cheesy cravings. If you are in the mood for something lighter, I would recommend our Garlic Prawn Spaghetti - a simple, flavorful and incredibly hearty dish that would definitely brighten up your stay-at-home day.
Albert Buu (CEO & Founder Neutronpay) : “Italiani’s is a great place for pizza and pasta when you have a craving. They have a wide range of items to choose from on their menu and are decently price for Italian food in Ho Chi Minh. A Cozy setting with a close family feel, great for get togethers. They also offer to pay in Bitcoin Lightning which is a cool way to settle your bill. Would recommend to friends.”
Bao Phuong Nguyen (CEO & Founder BitcoinVN: “Definitely one of the most worth-trying spot in Saigon. Real wood-toasted pizza. Their homemade burrata is my must have every single time.”
David Watson (General Director future.travel): “Italiani’s is is the comfort food pizza place for Saigon. It is the place that you go and sit and say oh yeah this is great! Better than Home. Close to the city and close to my heart. Definitely one of my favourite places to eat in Ho Chi Minh City.”
Daniel Fischer: Italiani’s is a charming little place, the closest thing to Italy you can find in Ho Chi Minh City. The menu offers a great range of Italian classics and the pizzas come from a wood-fired oven. The mozzarella is especially goid!
If you are looking to get 10% off your order of Italiani’s, you can receive a Discount Voucher with the following steps:
- Donate 1,000 Sats to https://bitcoinsaigon.org/donate-satoshis via the Lightning Network Donation button and add the following message:
Italianis - [current date in the form of DD.MM.YYYY] - [your name OR Twitter handle OR Telegram handle]
- Upon presenting Italiani’s in their shop (pick-up orders) or sending the screenshot via the messenger (delivery orders) you will receive 10% discount off your order price