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Umai Savory Hot Dogs Franchisee - Tri Nguyen

From Tech Sales to Top Franchisee

Tri Nguyen is an entrepreneur at heart.Business is his passion and he graduated from the University of Phoenix with aMaster’s degree in business in 2008. Facing one of the worst financial crisisof our times, and like millions of other Americans, Nguyen was unable to findwork in his preferred field and expertise. Living in Silicon Valley, he joinedCisco Systems as a sales analyst and has been with the company since. Sevenyears later, Nguyen found his entrepreneurial calling once again as a UmaiSavory Hot Dogs franchisee.


“I was a big fan of the hot dog carts indowntown San Jose and ate them throughout college. So when I found out thatUmai began their restaurant locations, I knew I wanted to open one up myself,”says Nguyen. With no restaurant experience and plans to continue working afull-time job at Cisco, Nguyen was initially rejected as a franchisee for his“lack of dedication” to the brand. Nguyen continued to push forward and repeatedlyasked the company to reconsider his franchise application. His passion for thebrand and products became clear and he opened his first store in Sacramento,California.


“I learned a lot working in sales. Yourcustomers are your top priority and if they’re not happy, your sales willdefinitely reflect it,” says Nguyen. Nguyen’s dedication to customer servicehas garnered consistent top reviews at the various social media and food reviewsites. His store location is among the top grossing locations, often outperformingcorporate restaurant locations. Nguyen sits on the Marketing Committee tooversee regional advertising and he has plans to develop additional units inthe Silicon Valley Bay Area.


Whatdo you like best about Umai Savory Hot Dogs?

“Definitely the food. Whenever I tell someof my friends that I own a hot dog restaurant, many of them roll their eyes,but then they come in and eat and just love the food. Umai has so much morethan just hot dogs though and it’s what keeps customers coming back time andagain.”

Tellus your experience as a franchisee?

“I sure hope every franchise can be likeUmai. The founder and CEO continually works on new products and is extremelyhands-on with every aspect of the operations. Everything from site selection,construction planning, to menu set-up, training, and everything – he’s there.You can tell how passionate they are about the brand and its products and Ilove that.”

Anytips you wish to share?

“Umai Savory Hot Dogs is a very uniquebrand. I travel a lot as a sales rep and I never see anything close to Umai.The founder is very passionate and is constantly in communication with you. Ididn’t know how much of a blessing that was until I heard from other friendsthat they have no franchise support from other brands that they work with. Thepersonal touch and hands-on operation and support is what I really like and youdefinitely get that here. I’ve learned so much with the one-on-one interactionwith the franchise support staff. My only tip is that, if you have any questionsor concerns, don’t hesitate to ask because the franchise team is definitelythere to help.”



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