This is a Vietnamese noodle shop in the Indooroopilly shopping centre food court situated adjacent to Pig and Whistle.
The owners are a friend of a friend and thanks to the kind hook up arranged by my friend, I was given the chance to interview them while Taro’s Ramen was still in its feasibility stage.
When i met them, they strongly urged me to stay in the resources industry and that hospitality was not an industry for a person like me (with young family no experience) to venture into. When they heard my plan of noodle shop they raised this shop as a relatively successful outlet but that it requires a perfectly efficient management to make it successful and it was impossible for them to suggest an inexperienced middle aged man could replicate from scratch. If I was so adamant, they told me to first of all get into the actual battlefield and see for myself and that I should get sick of it and give up on my stupid idea of opening up a noodle shop. I guess it is my nature not to listen once I’ve decided… Being a totally over confident arrogant bum, i completely ignored their advice and it was just last Sunday after 2.5 years of receiving their advice I went to see this shop.
Massively popular when I visited there was a cue of about ten people in front of me. Price is 15.90 for a pho or 16.90 for a laksa or curry.
I ordered and watched in fascination as the two cooks assembled the incoming orders. I had gone through enough hardship to realize how sensible their advice was but I appreciated first hand the operation that was described as “perfectly efficient”. Not a second of idling. Efficient to the max. Everything is prepped beforehand and the cook pops the noodles and veggies into the big cooking pot using the noodle baskets. No timers or scales are used just the cooks experience. He does one order in about 30 seconds as fast as the girl at the counter serves a new customer. I just watched in awe as he processed the orders one after another and didn’t even notice my own order being finished when i heard a number about 5 orders after mine was being called.
My wife pointed out that this was normal service and Taro’s is still too slow. I pondered on this point. Our focus at taro’s is consistent quality. noodles are weighed, cooking times are timed by the second and we keep the soup and seasoning sauce separate till the last moment so the taste doesn’t deteriorate. As a result our processing time is slower so there are physical limitations on getting our speed up on par with Phuc Deli Viet but I did get inspired by how efficient they run their operation and customers appreciating the quick turnaround. And this leading to a positive effect of customers returning knowin that they won have to wait long if they come here. I will see if we can apply any of their efficiencies to our procedures to better my turnaround time.
And in relation to the advice given to me 2 years ago, was it a sensible advice? Most definitely. I would do the same if I was in their shoes. Do I regret ignoring it? Course not!!!