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Vietnam restaurant chain shuts down amid alleged unpaid debts

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 11:52 GMT+7
Vietnam restaurant chain shuts down amid alleged unpaid debts
A Mon Hue restaurant on Nguyen Van Troi Street, Phu Nhuan District in Ho Chi Minh City is closed on October 22, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Multiple outlets of the Vietnamese restaurant chain Mon Hue have shut down over the last few days while the company’s headquarters is left untenanted as more than 100 suppliers are hunting for the firm’s leaders to collect outstanding debts.

Mon Hue is the oldest of the nine restaurant brands operated by Nha hang Mon Hue Co., Ltd under parent company Huy Vietnam.

Founded in 2006, Huy Vietnam at the time expressed its ambition to become one of the leading and largest self-managed food and beverage companies in the Southeast Asian country.

The company has since expanded its business to include more than 200 restaurants throughout the country, with Mon Hue accounting for half of the outlets.

Huy Vietnam became a 100-percent foreign-invested enterprise in 2016 after successfully raising funds from foreign investors.

Its latest business registration certificate shows that Ho Chi Minh City-based Huy Vietnam is wholly owned by Huy Vietnam Ltd. in Hong Kong.

A handful of Mon Hue restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City have ceased operation for days, their neighbors told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Small notices are glued onto the restaurants’ closed doors, informing customers of the sudden hiatus.

A notice is glued onto the door of a Mon Hue restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City announcing its inactivity. Photo: KT / Tuoi Tre
A notice is glued onto the door of a Mon Hue restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City announcing its inactivity. Photo: KT / Tuoi Tre

Tuoi Tre reached out to some employees of these restaurants and was told that their salary has not been paid for months.

Meanwhile, no employee was seen working at Huy Vietnam’s headquarters at 302-304 Vo Van Kiet Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

A piece of white paper is glued to the door handle, showing that the office has been sealed since October 17.

All equipment and furniture remained inside the office space as if the company’s employees had just walked out for a coffee.

A security guard at the building told Tuoi Tre on Tuesday that many other people had also visited the Huy Vietnam office earlier on the same day.

The headquarters of the Mon Hue restaurant chain is empty of employees on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, October 22, 2019. Photo: Huu Duyen / Tuoi Tre
The headquarters of the Mon Hue restaurant chain is empty of employees on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, October 22, 2019. Photo: Huu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

Users have also flocked to the Facebook page of Mon Hue to ask about the inactivity of its restaurants, only to receive no reply.

The page has not been updated in nearly three weeks, with the latest post uploaded on October 4.

The official website of Huy Vietnam, huyvietnam.com, was inaccessible as of Tuesday evening.

A beef supplier for Huy Vietnam contacted by Tuoi Tre said that the company still owes him nearly VND1 billion (US$43,000) in outstanding debts.

The firm is allegedly indebted to several other suppliers, with the debt arrears having amounted to tens of billion Vietnamese dongs (VND1 billion = $43,000), according to these suppliers.

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