Phil Vienott is an American living and working in Ho Chi Minh City. He set up his business called SlapDish in November last year and ever since has been in the business of giving away free stuff to everyone and anyone. It’s a great idea and one that seems to benefit all. Phil is a venue promoter, he looks at businesses and sees what he can do to give them a better profile. But he definitely looks at it in a different way than most.
His business plan is surprisingly easy, the best ones always are. He gets some of the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City to give him vouchers for free meals, drinks or anything else that they provide. Then in turn he publishes the big giveaways and advertises the venue at the same time. In his own words he wants to connect people, food and people, and new places and people. The venues are reporting increased business, the people getting the freebies are more than happy and at the same time Phil’s Facebook page is growing, quickly.
He currently has more than 20 businesses on board and is expanding all the time. His company name is a combination of dish and slapdash. originally just a Facebook page for showing photos of Saigon’s great food, he came upon the idea of promoting his favourite restaurants.
“The model is really simple,” Phil explains. “I go to a new venue. If they want in, they give me a free or discounted meal or drink, in voucher form. I then post a giveaway on facebook. Members see the giveaway, they apply, the winners get to try out the free food. The venue is happy as they get promoted, the winners are more than happy to get a free meal or drinks and I am happy for Slapdish to help somebody to try out new things or go to a new place.”
The great thing is that most winners will have a good time and they will go back with friends or recommend the place as well. The word is spreading quickly and new businesses are coming calling. As for the future, as Phil says, “All kinds of organisations have to think about monetising sooner or later, but I can’t worry about that right now. For now, I just want to enjoy the ride and see where it will take me.” And now he is already seeing the business expand. No longer just giving out freebies for the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, he has already broadened it to include gyms and sports organisations.
Here at InSeAsia, we think it will take him a very long way indeed.