Rashays’ mega goal: more than 100 new restaurants

By Sarah Stowe | 08 Jun 2021 View comments

Hospitality chain Rashays has revealed a mega goal with plans to open more than 100 new stores in Australia.

The casual-dining business right now has spread its network along the east coast, starting with Sydney and moving into the ACT and Queensland.

Right now there are 30 outlets operating and plenty of room for growth.

In fact Victoria is a new target, with founder Rami Ykmour focused on adding three outlets in the southern state this year.

Locations vary across the network, there isn’t one ideal site, he says.

“We are so confident in our brand: it can be a shopping centre, standalone, a food strip or precinct. It’s family focused, holiday destination focused.”

Rami hasn’t excluded regional sites from the expansion and with all stores at capacity the business is ready to ramp up the growth, he says. There are 100 locations already picked out.

What’s distinctive about Rashays is its business model built around a centralised kitchen. At the western Sydney head office a series of units prep and cook meals so there is minimal cooking at store level. Portion sizes are prepped and packed for daily delivery to franchisees.

Rami says there is about 80 per cent capacity to utilise at the warehousing and food preparation space which will allow the business to grow.

“We’ve been building this foundation for 23 years, we could have scaled a lot faster earlier. This is about legacy,” he says.

And as the brand’s footprint grows interstate it will establish mini kitchens in the Melbourne and Brisbane areas to replicate the food prep processes.

The Rashays story started back in 1998 in Liverpool, when Rami and his wife Shannon set-up their first restaurant.  And gradually one outlet turned into several.

“People knocked on my door or found a site. It’s always about the foundation. It’s not about the bottom line today, it’s how do we build business long term?

“People appreciate the slow growth, it’s real. We are reinvesting into a great platform.”

He says the model is designed to promote a work life balance.

“That’s why we give you all the systems, so you can go  home at the end of the day and your staff can operate the business. ”

In addition to the food prep, franchisees benefit from admin support including an accounting firm that can take on the bookkeeping. Back office demands focus on rostering, and keeping supplies up to date using one central online hub to place orders.

“We’re a family brand right through,” says Rami. “We look for franchisees who love serving people, who want to make a change in their community.”

Franchisees must live within 20km of their store to be a part of the community, and commit to spend five hours a week on community-focused projects.

“That’s how we grew our brand, working within the community.”