JINYA Holdings, a franchise system compiled of four separate restaurant concepts specializing in gourmet ramen, announced Vu Nguyen as its Director of Human Resources. Nguyen will be streamlining hiring, talent management and development and compliance for the franchise system.
“Vu has brought HR success to some of the most well-known restaurant brands in Southern California. He’s been able to build HR departments from the ground up, and is the exact kind of personality and talent that we want joining our burgeoning franchise family,” said Tomo Takahashi, founder of JINYA Holdings.
As Tomo notes, Nguyen joins JINYA with an impressive professional background. Out of college, he started his journey in hospitality HR at the Cheesecake Factory and never looked back. Over the last decade he has held HR management positions at the infamous Saddle Ranch Chop House, Southern California chain Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill and Inko Nito. Most recently, Nguyen served as the Regional Human Resources Manager at Live Nation.
Nguyen was a longtime patron of the restaurant before he accepted the Director of Human Resources position. “Every Saturday for a year I would go to the gym and then head to Studio City JINYA Ramen Bar to devour the Cha Cha Cha. I became a huge fan of the food, and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to join Tomo and the team.”
One of Nguyen’s first initiatives is creating an HR toolkit/recipe book to be used at every location across North America. Franchisees can use the toolkit as an in-depth resource on all things recruiting, employee relations, benefits, transfers, compensation and more. Nguyen is passionate about answering the question, “How do we make our employees and managers better?”
“Tomo is building a great legacy through his passion and attention to detail in the food, design and more,” Nguyen says. “I am eager to build out the HR team and help take JINYA and our franchisees to the next level.”
Also, the company announced Robert Philips as its new Vice President of Marketing. Philips will be overseeing JINYA’s multi-brand strategy with a goal to grow the suite of brands in the U.S., Canada and beyond; and to help both franchise owners and corporate-owned stores meet their business objectives.
“Robert comes to JINYA with an impressive background in multi-unit hospitality marketing and management, in both North America and Asia. We believe he will excel and take JINYA’s success to new heights,” Takahash says.
Philips joins JINYA having previously served in leadership roles for Hilton, Banyan Tree and most recently, Oakwood. He has directed marketing for multiple hotel and serviced apartment brands as well as both fine dining and fast casual restaurants.
While on assignment in Japan many years ago, Philips became a believer in the authentic ramen experience. “It was love at first bite,” says Philips. “The steam rising from the kitchen, the deeply-flavored broths and the mounds of noodles. It is exciting to see JINYA bring this experience to North America.”
“JINYA is a remarkable entrepreneurial success story, delivering an authentic dining concept and unique experiences,” adds Philips.
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