Mastercard and Vietcetera recently announced the official launch of Flavors Vietnam 2023. Themed ““Taking Vietnam’s Food & Beverage Industry To The Next Level”, the fourth annual gastronomy series promises the biggest edition of the festival yet, and the most flavorful celebration of Vietnamese cuisine, aiming to take the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry in Vietnam to the next level. With Mastercard continuing as the official payment partner, food enthusiasts can relish unforgettable dining experiences with unbeatable offers exclusively for Mastercard cardholders, and simply tap-and-go for fast, secure and seamless payments at any participating F&B outlet using their Mastercard cards or e-wallets on their mobile devices.
In Vietnam, the country famous for its diverse cuisine, the dining scene never rests. Food can be served anywhere and anytime, 24 hours a day, whether it is a steaming bowl of “pho” at 2 a.m, or sticky rice and “banh mi” at any sidewalk stall after a night shift, creating a unique and vibrant F&B scene like no other. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the industry has been quick to recover and witnessed significant growth in revenue in Vietnam, even outperforming pre-epidemic times, thanks to rapidly increasing consumer demands. According to the Mastercard Economics Institute, consumers are prioritizing eating out – both in-person and via food delivery – to cooking at home, with spending at restaurants up 16% in August 2022 from January 2022 levels. This has created a positive momentum for the F&B industry in Vietnam to continue to grow and thrive, and emerge as one of the most dynamic culinary markets in the world.
Since its debut in 2018, Flavors Vietnam has made its mark on Vietnam’s F&B industry with a series of culinary activities that continue to be innovated or upscaled every year. The journey of celebrating and empowering the F&B community has gone far but is never off track, building up an open and constructive platform, providing valuable insights into the dining scene from the industry experts themselves.
In its fourth and grandest edition, Flavors Vietnam headlines enticing events, such as Vietnam Food & Beverage Conference, Banh Mi Awards, Vietnam Restaurant and Bar Week, and Rising Chefs Challenge. One of the major highlights is the long-awaited Vietnam Restaurant and Bar Week, which has been upgraded with an extension to run for two weeks, an expansion to the beach city of Danang, and an escalation in the number of restaurants and bars, promising an exciting and Priceless culinary exploration that taps into each touchpoint and pays tribute to the local food culture.
“To Vietcetera, Flavors Vietnam is a significantly meaningful project through which we can impact by helping foster a strong, progressive, youthful F&B community in Vietnam. From a modest award ceremony in a small restaurant in District 1 to a large-scale event with thousands of guests and partners across different cities, our evolutionary journey bears a resemblance to how Banh Mi has made its way from a common street food to a symbol of Vietnamese cuisine. Every year, we aim to shine the spotlight on ‘flavors’ as part of our effort to bring the world to Vietnam and Vietnam to the world,” said Thuy Minh, CCO, Vietcetera.
The F&B sector in Vietnam has been actively and enthusiastically embracing a digital and cashless future in tandem with rising consumer demand. While consumers made deliberate shifts to cashless based on necessity, safety, security and convenience during the pandemic, it is clear that the trend is here to stay. With 94% of consumers in Vietnam having used at least one digital payment method in 2022, showing great enthusiasm in adopting new digital payment methods, F&B businesses of all sizes are recognizing digitization and cashless payments as essential to staying competitive in a transformed business and economic environment.
Since the beginning of the partnership, Vietcetera and Mastercard have inspired both consumers and partner merchants and restaurants to go cashless, using Mastercard Tap & Go contactless payment technology. The goal will extend throughout the course of Flavors Vietnam 2023, in which Mastercard cardholders can enjoy exclusive access to attractive privileges and discounts for payments and experiences. This will be a remarkable opportunity to drive further the cashless habits in F&B consumers and businesses, as well as encouraging more micro, small and medium enterprises in the sector to enter the cashless economy.
“Mastercard is delighted to extend its partnership with Vietcetera on Flavors Vietnam 2023. With its recognition and establishment, the program is an incredible opportunity to shine a spotlight on the encouraging achievements of the F&B industry in Vietnam, while bringing people together for a celebration of the exquisite local cuisine,” said Winnie Wong, Country Manager, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Mastercard. “Moving forward, Mastercard will continue the commitment to leverage its technology, insights, global expertise and partnership approach to empower local businesses to grow digitally and unleash their full potential. By enabling safe, convenient and seamless transactions, Mastercard aims to bridge the connection between food lovers and rising F&B merchants, fostering memorable dining experiences that are truly Priceless for consumers, while bringing new opportunities to local F&B businesses and helping to transform Vietnam into a digital-first economy.”
In recognizing the rising and established names in Vietnam’s food and beverage industry, the Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards, fondly known as “Banh Mi Awards”, continue to be one of the key highlights of this year Flavors program. The award is set to honor and crown the most creative and highly innovative players in the industry, those who have pushed boundaries to put Vietnam on the global culinary map. Moreover, putting the spotlight on these emerging talents has also opened doors of opportunities for their career growth.
“I’m honored to be voted Chef of the Year in 2022. This is not just an individual achievement but a worthy reward for the determined efforts of more than 100 people at Tung dining and Å by Tung. Any award comes with pride and a great responsibility, and the Chef of the Year award pushed my team and me to continue striving for innovations and delivering exceptional fine-dining experiences for customers,” said Hoang Tung, Head Chef, Co-founder, Co-owner of TUNG dining and Å by TUNG.
Bien Ngoc Vu (Vu Ngoc), Owner of Doozy, Enigma and ASMR said: “Being voted as the Bartender of the year in Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards 2022 was a surprise for me, and also a recognition for my effort. After the awards, I still keep perfecting my skill and working on my personal projects. What’s different is that I receive more love and support than before. Thank you, Vietcetera and Mastercard for opening such a great platform for celebrating the restaurant and bar community.”