Rooster & Rice, the 10-branch Thai restaurant chain that exploded into the Bay Area dining scene in 2015, has announced the launch of its new franchise model and nationwide expansion plans. Over the past six years, the restaurant has built a loyal following of diehard fans through its simplified, chef-led chicken and rice menu. Now the restaurant plans to expand its footprint with new locations across the country.
As the restaurant aims for national growth, the brand has identified California and Texas as the main development markets. The brand is actively seeking qualified franchise candidates to open restaurants in both states next year.
Known for their streamlined, easy-to-complete menu, Rooster & Rice is a great franchise fit. The minimalist menu cuts overhead and labor costs and allows for a flexible brick-and-mortar footprint that can thrive in virtually any market or retail space.
“Most restaurant brands thrive because they have an extremely popular offering or a tight operating model that makes them easy and inexpensive to scale. Rooster & Rice is one of the few brands to offer both, ”said Bryan Lew, co-founder and CEO. “This winning combination has allowed us to grow rapidly throughout the Bay Area, and we continue to see increasing demand from neighboring markets. The franchise will allow us to meet this growing demand like never before while introducing our fresh, high-quality dishes to new customers across the country.
In 2020, flexibility has become a prerequisite for survival in the restaurant industry, and Rooster & Rice’s multi-purpose store model and universal appeal have enabled all of the brand’s locations to not only survive, but also to prosper. The brand quickly focused on take-out and delivery options and gained unique resistance to pandemics.
“COVID-19 completely changed the restaurant landscape, but with our tight business model and low overhead, we were able to cope with it,” Lew says. “We have locations in various Bay Area neighborhoods – residential and commercial – in addition to our downtown stores, all of which have continued to see strong sales throughout the pandemic through our accessible menu, affordable and coveted. We let the food speak for itself and our menu keeps people coming back.
Rooster & Rice aims to sign three new franchisees and open a new location in 2021 with the goal of reaching 15 locations by 2022. Min Park, CFO and Principal Investor at Aroi Hospitality Group, Rooster & Rice’s investment partner , says he expects the brand to have no difficulty finding qualified franchise candidates in every market they enter.
“This is an incredibly strong brand and a particularly lucrative franchise opportunity,” says Park. “We’ve been responding to inquiries from entrepreneurs about franchising opportunities for years, and now, having proven the strength of the model throughout COVID and ever-expanding San Francisco – one of the most food scenes Competitors across the country – we are ready to take the leap into franchising and share the success we have had with franchisees across the country.
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