PDA Q&A: Genevieve Vang

The E-Interview, Owner and Chef, Bangkok 96, Dearborn
Genevieve Vang
Genevieve Vang

DB: Where are you?
GV: I’m at the restaurant in Dearborn. We were closed for four weeks, but we reopened for carry-out orders (in mid-May), and we just launched online ordering. Our Detroit location (at Detroit Shipping Co.) is still closed.

DB: How’s it going?
GV: We’ve been very busy. A lot of people are calling or coming here to place orders. We did a great job about letting people know about our reopening with social media, and when we reopened things just skyrocketed. Right now, we have 30 people (working) in the restaurant.

DB: What was COVID-19 like?
GV: It was scary. I’m originally from Laos, and my husband and our family have never seen anything like it. We make sure we test every employee every day, from morning to evening. We take pictures. We’ve been very safe.

DB: What are people ordering?
GV: We have the full menu. Popular dishes are pad thai, Thai steak, Bangkok fried rice, and our curry dishes. We’ll keep doing carry-out until there’s a (COVID-19) vaccine. My customers want me to open the (120-seat) dining room, but we want to be safe. We may add a drive-thru window, but that could be $8,000, so we’re holding off on that for now.

DB: How about deliveries?
GV: We’re looking at that. I want to make sure we choose the right delivery partner. When we started online ordering, our business went up 30 percent. Plus, right now, we don’t have the dining room expenses like cleaning the dishes, serving the food, and no linens. For a mom-and-pop shop, we’re learning a lot and adjusting every day. That’s what entrepreneurs do.

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