Published on: 28 May 2019

The PokéBox: a recipe for success

The PokéBox: a recipe for success

Tenant in the spotlight

Hench Hsu and Anhkhoa Dang managed to open two restaurants in the space of 18 months. After successfully opening The PokéBox in Posthoornstraat, they started a second establishment a few months ago in the Groot Handelsgebouw. “We specifically went for the Groot Handelsgebouw, the largest multi-tenant commercial building in the Netherlands. The location is close to Rotterdam Centraal train station and close to our first restaurant. I already feel completely at home here.”

Unexpected encounter

Hench and Anhkhoa could never have imagined two years ago that they would own two restaurants. In fact, they did not even know each other back then. “We were neighbours and said hello to one another but we never got talking,” says Hench (photo). “I told a friend that I was going to view a property for a restaurant business and they said I should take Anhkhoa along with me. Like me, he comes from a catering family, and he had some experience with property viewings and refurbishment. So I met Anhkhoa at the viewing.”

“It could have been a recipe for disaster”

Change of direction

At that time, Anhkhoa was on the point of emigrating to Vietnam. He had sold his home and car and handed in his notice at work. But Anhkhoa had second thoughts after the viewing. “He reckoned it was the ideal location for a poké business and suggested we should start one together,” says Hench. “After a brainstorming session, we concluded that we both had the same ideas. Anhkhoa called his mother that same afternoon to tell her he wouldn’t be emigrating after all. He did go to Vietnam, but only on holiday. Our collaboration was an impulsive move. It could have been a recipe for disaster.” He laughs. Two months after the viewing, in December 2017, they opened their first PokéBox.

Love and passion for the restaurant business

“Anhkhoa and I are a good fit. My background is in marketing and Anhkhoa comes from the financial sector. We are friends now but we weren’t back then. That allowed us to be very critical, which is still the case. We both have a lot of love and passion for the restaurant business. Our parents taught us that it’s important to provide extra service. We feel that is also important in the training we give our staff. That keeps things enjoyable for you as well as for the customers.”

“That keeps things enjoyable for you as well as for the customers”

Sustainability and healthy food

“Like our customers, we give a high priority to sustainability and healthy food. We get our fish from Schmidt Zeevis, which we are very proud of. We also serve organic juices and drinks, for example from Lemonaid. We use these suppliers so that we can offer fair-trade products. Our customers really appreciate that.” Hench finishes by saying, “Poké is a real treat and our customers look forward to a meal out at our restaurants. That’s what makes our job so great.”

 

The PokéBox | Weena 689

Photo: Antim Photography | Unit E1.174.2

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