Dominic Doan opened the Richardson Char’d restaurant in May 2019 after years of working in the restaurant industry. (Jackson King/Community Impact)
Dominic Doan wanted to provide a new experience when he created Char’d: Southeast Asian Kitchen.
Doan is familiar with the restaurant industry having worked at his parents’ fried chicken restaurant in Arlington as a child. In 2018, he joined forces with his brother Martin to separate from the family business and create their own restaurant in Mansfield. It opened its second location in Richardson in May 2019 to serve the area’s business lunch needs.
Char’d specializes in a quick and casual fusion of different Asian specialties unlike traditional restaurants. Drawing on his experience at his family’s restaurant, Doan said he prioritized customer experiences to create a friendly environment when building Char’d.
“They don’t have to like the food, but they’ll come more often if they like you,” Doan said of customers. “That’s what we learned from our parents’ restaurant. There are so many fried chicken restaurants in Arlington that we had to compete with. But many times, [customers] will come to us because they know us like family.
The restaurant’s menu mixes Southeast Asian influences from Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Hawaii, he said. Similar to Chipotle, Char’d allows customers to customize their own bowl from a variety of bases, proteins, vegetables and sauces.
“[Char’d] tries to cater to an Americanized version of Asian cuisine rather than creating an authentic experience,” Doan said. “There are plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood that serve traditional Asian cuisine. [My brother and I] wanted to do something different, and [we] found a market that was not served [to].”
In addition to its customizable options, Char’d offers specialty pre-made bowls and simple bites, including a fusion version of loaded fries and spring rolls.
One of the biggest challenges Doan has faced is relying on the pre-made menu, as they add items every three to four months.
As for the future, Doan and Martin discussed expanding their franchise into the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Doan said he wanted to create a hometown feel to each venue, while standardizing the food at each restaurant.
Char’d: Southeast Asian cuisine
1251 State St., Ste. 800 Richardson
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm