2021 - another year, another round of Corona-related shutdowns and “stay home” orders.
It has not been an easy time for entrepreneurs and operators in the Food & Beverage industry and each of them have to adjust to a new situation which makes dine-in traffic the happy exception amidst the repeating restaurant closures over the past one-and-a-half years.
Not all of our favourite spots will most likely make it out at the other end due to the ongoing restrictions putting burdens on their normal business operations.
People who have put their time, energy and passion into making our city a more liveable place by providing us with this great variety of food options from all over the world have often begun to tap into their savings to keep their business and the service they provide alive.
In these daring times it’s time to pull together as a community and #supportyourlocal.
In our 3rd edition we are covering Big Pig BBQ, which has been a regular meetup spot for the local Bitcoin community; favoured due to its carnivore-friendly menu as well as its wide selection of local craft & imported beers.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Rob Rankin - the face behind Big Pig BBQ and well-known and reputable name in the local foodie & restaurateur scene - to discuss the challenges and opportunities which come along with the current times.
Bitcoin Saigon: Hi Rob! 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?
Rob: Well, behind every good man is a better woman - and that’s definitely true in my case. My wife Lien Pham has been in the industry for almost 2 decades here in Saigon and while I might be the face of our brand, she’s the woman behind the curtain making things happen. We’re both passionate about customer service and bringing great food, value and experience to the market - so it was natural that we’d enter the space over 3 years ago with our first Big Pig outlet. Since then, Big Pig has grown and we have a few other brands: Hong Kong Steam, Hem Chill, and Bo To Tay Ninh Thao Dien.
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?
Rob: It was natural for us to open here since it’s our home base. Post covid, we will look at expanding our group to other domestic markets but for now, Saigon is home and we are happy with that!
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?
Rob: Well, Corona has flipped everything on its head. At the moment we are completely closed in all outlets and waiting for delivery to be permitted again. When will things get back to normal - this is anyone’s best guess. Like most F&B businesses, we will be pivoting certain brands towards more delivery.
The Big Pig team has done their part to help feeding the most vulnerable victims of the current lockdown
Bitcoin Saigon: Once this whole Corona story is “over”: Why should people come & visit Vietnam?
Rob: Vietnam is a captivating place. Thousands of years of fascinating history alongside one of the fastest growing economies and rapidly modernizing societies in Asia. It’s the perfect time to visit. Not to mention the buzz of Saigon, the beaches, the breathtaking mountains and so much more.
Bitcoin Saigon: Big Pig BBQ is focusing on a rather hearty & meaty diet in the American BBQ style - what would be your recommendation of the day from the menu for first-time visitors?
Rob: I am a huge fan of our sizzling platters. Try the Beef & Mushroom or Beef & Cheese rolls which are served to the table sizzling hot with two sides. Then, get a big rack of our low & slow cooked ribs smothered in our homemade sweet & tangy BBQ sauce. Wash it down with a cold local craft beer - we have over 25 to choose from.
David Watson (General Director future.travel):“The Big Pig has amazing chicken quesadillas. Combine the food with very tall glasses of beer and you are in for a good evening of food and fun with friends..”
Duc:“Big Pig has become my favorite place for family and friends union place. The place serves hearty American BBQ and with a wide selection of local craft beers. The portion is big so it’s easy to share around, the staff is attentive and the atmosphere is cozy and casual so it is good for lively chatty talks when old friends and family get together. The owner Rob being entrepreneurial and shares my interest in crypto so we have more reasons to come back to his place for good food good beer at good value and enjoy a piece of American BBQ culture in Sai Gon Vietnam.”
If you would like to support the work of the Bitcoin Saigon Community - you can donate some of your Sats to us via our Donation page!!