The Saigon Restaurant Group Story
Saigon Restaurant Group is Atlanta’s premier restaurant group of South East Asian cuisine. Our business is founded on a simple idea: offer each customer the best possible experience in service, quality, value and selection. We operate under 2 brands; Saigon Café and Saigon Basil. Each brand caters to the needs of different demographics in the vast metro region of Atlanta. David Lee is the founder and CEO of Saigon Restaurant Group. His is a story of an American dream. He came to America as a refugee child, obtained his first job in the restaurant industry by working as a part-time server and kitchen help while going to school. After graduating with an architectural degree, he spent a few years as a draftsman before moving to Atlanta and starting his own construction company. Then the events of 9/11 impacted him in a way that made him change his career direction. He longed to build a more grounded life for his family. Following the footsteps of his family back in Vietnam, he decided to take the dive into the restaurant business. The first Saigon Café was opened in January of 2002 in the Market Fair Plaza on Satellite Blvd in Duluth. It was created to give guests a traditional Vietnamese experience, to make them feel that they were eating street food in Vietnam through the selection of food and décor. The feedback he received from the first restaurant was so overwhelmingly positive that he decided to focus seriously on becoming a restaurateur. Within the next four years, David opened four more Saigon Café locations (Norcross, Lawrenceville, Woodstock, and Decatur). Staples from Thailand and China were added to the menu, making the restaurants a popular one-stop shop for casual South East Asian dining. In the midst of these restaurant openings, he tested a new concept – Saigon Basil which opened in Midtown. Saigon Basil offers an express version of Saigon Café while maintaining the authenticity, quality and consistency of the original restaurant. Its location in Midtown is perfect for guests who prefer quick counter service. Saigon Café Midtown opened in December 2010 and soon after David opened Saigon Café Buford. In February of 2012, immediately after Saigon Restaurant Group’s 10th year Anniversary, the much anticipated Saigon Café Alpharetta location opened on Windward Pkwy. This success confirmed that David Lee is not just a flash in the pan restaurateur. His passion for his work is evident as he develops concepts for each of his restaurants, oversees the day-to day operations as well as regulates the food, personnel and décor quality standards of all the restaurants.
President & CEO
Director of Customer Care & Sales