Zeus Street Greek targets 30 restaurants by 2020

By Nick Hall | 19 Dec 2018 View comments

Fast-casual restaurant chain, Zeus Street Greek has unveiled growth plans that would see the brand’s franchise network grow by one third over the next 18 months.

After establishing a network of 20 stores in its first four and a half years, Zeus’ expansion efforts have slowed considerably, a reflection of the current congestion in the food retailing market.

Ramon Castillo, general manager of Zeus Street Greek said the franchise was undergoing a major identity piece that promised to buck the trend by repositioning the brand as a convenient, specialised offering in the crowded QSR space.

“For the moment our view is very slow and steady,” Castillo told Inside Franchise Business. “We’ve identified a goal of getting to 30 locations by the end of June 2020, so over the next 18 months, we will open another 8 stores. That doesn’t sound overtly glamourous, but it’s not about chasing unrealistic targets, I want to open sustainable sites with capable, engaged franchise partners in it for the long-haul.”

Zeus’ expansion announcement comes at a time when food and beverage market growth is at slowdown, with shopping centre landlords crowding commercial spaces with an influx of competition, which Castillo admits presents its own challenges.

“I believe what’s changed is that consumer now has more choice than ever before, which is actually a great thing. Unfortunately, with the number of operators across the marketplace, I don’t believe that all will survive,” Castillo said.

“The reality is that you can’t support lots of growth without strong foundations underpinning the business plan. People can only have one lunch per day, one dinner per day, so while its lovely to see the consumer with that choice, it forces operators like us to make sure that our service periods give the consumer the best version of us.”

The new growth strategy sees Zeus roll-out a new Summer menu, spearheaded by Universal Hotel Group executive chef, David Tsirekas.

The menu update signals Zeus return to traditional Greek flavours, which Castillo says was a pivotal move in the customer education process, helping to provide a solid foundation from which to launch future expansion.

“There are many elements in this menu relaunch that reembrace the pivotal points that relate to our brand,” Castillo said.

“We’ve really taken the opportunity over the last five months to reset before our next run of growth. That way there is no confusion over our identity, and ultimately, we can deliver to our franchise partners, both current and still to join, confidence in knowing they are working with a brand that understands who it is.”

As the brand gears up for national growth, Castillo reiterated a renewed focus on delighting consumers was critical, revealing the brand has a number of customer-centric initiatives in the innovation pipeline.

“We want to get back to traditional beliefs that the customer is a gift, you treat them with respect. Without the processes and the sincerity behind that, we aren’t going to convert people into raving fans.”