Bitcoin & steak – a combination which especially entices the “Bitcoin carnivore” subculture among the Bitcoin users.
Initiated by a bunch of well-known Bitcoiners such as Michael Goldstein, Tone Vays, Jimmy Song or Saifedean Ammous the Bitcoin Carnivore movement really started to take off around 2017 with various outspoken early adopters calling for a healthy, sound and balanced diet consisting of meat, meat and more meat.
Now it seems that also Saigon/Vietnam is catching up with the trend – and combining two of the most formidable things this planet ever created: Meat and Bitcoin!
At Big Pig BBQ ( 46 Trường Sơn, Quận Tân Bình ) you can get now your fix for both of these items – either by the broad selection of grilled and fried beef, chicken and pork dishes or by snatching up some precious Satoshis via the new Bitcoin ATM.
And if your hunger was too great and you run out of VND to buy more steak… – no worries, the BTM will also allow you to withdraw the local cash in exchange for Bitcoins.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Rob Rankin and his wife Lien who have been the driving force behind establishing various outlets under the Utit.vn umbrella and been an entrepreneur in South East Asia/Vietnam since more than a decade.
BVNews: Hi Rob! Congratulations to your ongoing success in a very competitive marketplace saw Utit Brands not only surviving, but thriving. You have recently opened a new location in District 2. What’s the secret behind your success?
Rob Rankin: Hi BV! Thanks for reaching out – we are really pleased to be a part of this Bitcoin Carnivore movement!
Like any F&B company, the last few months have really been challenging. For us, we have 2 underlying principles which guides us in everything with the company. (1) we are developing menus & foods which are suitable to the local market and (2) neverending focus on the customer experience.
These principles helped us to have enough delivery business during lockdown to survive and luckily when restaurants were open again, we were top of mind for our customers to come back to visit.
BVNews: How do you see your business dynamics changing due to Covid?
Rob: Hygiene and food-safety & quality have always been key for us. Post-COVID, we will continue to communicate to our customers how we ensure this in order to offer them the best & safest service. We are also exploring options like contactless menus and more strict hygiene certifications.
BVNews: In May 2020 a BitcoinVN BTM has been placed at the Big Pig location. Could you please explain how you came to this decision?
Rob: We are seeing the dramatic increase in popularity for bitcoin and other digital currencies here in Vietnam over the last few years so we want to be a part in order to offer convenience and service for our customers.
We also have a strategic location next to the airport so it’s very convenient for tourists to get some Satoshis as soon as they arrive to Saigon.
BVNews: Besides the direct monetary benefit you receive from hosting the machine, do you see any other benefits that hosting it could have for your business?
Rob: Guests normally stick around for a drink or snack while processing their transaction, so there is some ancillary business which we notice.
BVNews: When have you first heard about Bitcoin and what were your initial thoughts?
Rob: I first heard about Bitcoin around 7 or 8 years ago but honestly i didn’t look into it much until recently.
BVNews: How much knowledge do you have about Bitcoin now? What is your opinion of it?
Rob: Now I am learning quickly and have set up my account on VBTC. We hope to offer our customers the option to pay with BTC in due course.
BVNews: Do you see any future for cryptocurrencies in Vietnam as more than an asset class that can be profitable to trade?
Rob: I think so. Despite the interruption this year with COVID, Vietnam’s economy has been growing at record rates for the last decade and more than ever we are living in a globally connected and digital world. I think it’s natural and intuitive that crypto will play a larger part in the next few years. It’s an exciting time to be here!
BVNews: What’s up next for your company and yourself?
Rob: We’ve just opened a new brand (Hem Chill) in Thao Dien Q2 and we are scouting locations for another outlet for later this year. We are long on Vietnam and are setting up to play a part in this exciting economy.
BVNews: Thank you for your time Rob and we wish you further success with your business endeavours!
If you are interested in becoming a host for a machine yourself, you can find more information here.