After launching less than two months ago, Banh Mi Joint owner Tee Tran has already made significant changes to his Emeryville restaurant. After observing his customers’ dining habits, he scraped counter-service in favor of table service. After hearing customers ask for better value, he responded by slashing the price of his Banh Mi. Now Tran has responded to his customers biggest demand – adding his signature Pho from his nearby Oakland establishment.
Tran was finding that while those familiar with Banh Mi love them, they’re not quite the phenomenon that Pho has become. “With the weather getting colder, people want pho.” Tran initially toyed with the idea of just bringing the Chicken Pho over from his sister restaurant, but now plans to bring the entire menu over (including their pandan leaf coconut waffle dessert!). Tran also decided to capitalize on the equity he’s built at his Oakland establishment by renaming Banh Mi Joint to Monster Pho 2.
Finally phở-nomenonal Friday. @MONSTERPHO #phởsho pic.twitter.com/BFluqeUHQE
— 3 Word Food Reviews (@besteatsever) February 28, 2015
Tran quickly retooled his kitchen to accommodate the changes in menu and rolled out new signage and menus this week. For those that have grown attached to the banh mi, Tee wanted to reinforce to his customers that they aren’t going anywhere. “We’re changing our name and adding Pho, but our customers still love our banh mi” (no word on a signature “Monsters Inc.” pho dish 😉 ).
The reviews of Banh Mi Joint’s food have been excellent, but Tran feels things will really take off when the building’s scaffolding is removed and he can open his patio for better visibility and foot traffic. The first year of a new business is critical and most businesses generally operate at a loss. Tran notes he wants to continue to build a loyal customer base for Monster Pho 2, and worry about profits later.
Monster Pho 2 will be closed Wed. & Thurs. for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
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So what is that, 3 long standing locally owned restaurants close and one new restaurant tries to reinvent itself, all in the last 10 days?
Anyone ready to admit that the Emeryville MWO was a mistake yet?
Eh, probably not.