An Aussie abroad

 

unnamedA Homegrown burger chain with more than 90 restaurants is going abroad for the first time, with plans to open up to five sites in Asia, the first by the end of June.

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Grill’d has 92 restaurants around Australia and has made its mark by positioning itself as a provider of healthy burgers.

Simon Crowe, founder of Grill’d, told Inside Retail PREMIUM, “our desire is to be an unchained chain”.

Crowe and business partner, Geoff Bainbridge, have been in discussion with potential international joint venture partners, with Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia key targets for the chain’s first Asian sites.

“We’re happy to invest our own capital, we’ve always had a long term approach to the business,” said Crowe.

“We’re 10 years down the track now and we’re far closer to our beginning than our end. In my view, it may be relevant to have a local partner in overseas markets because they’ll know more elements of the market and property structure than we will,” he said.

The decision to open in Asia is largely due to its proximity to Australia.

“We believe there is a huge opportunity for us in some of the Asian countries, and we can then tap into the Australian nature of who we are, not just from a service perspective, but by importing or exporting from Australia the quality produce that we use here.”

Locally, Grill’d will open six new sites across Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney, most of which will open before Christmas.

“Our philosophy is to stay true to Grill’d and focus on her only, with an intent to take her overseas,” he said.

Since launching 10 years ago the brand has worked hard to break the perception that burgers belong to the fast food category.

“When you talk about burgers and you talk multiple sites it gets anchored in a space we definitely don’t play to – being fast food. We’re always trying to break that perception because our intent is to improve our providore reputation, our service, and our fitouts,” he said.

Grill’d has launched its first ‘Low Carb Superbun’.

“We’ve taken a philosophy that says let’s go narrow in terms of being only focused on burgers, and let’s go deep in terms of, let’s do it better than anybody else.”

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