INTERNATIONAL | Kevin Santos, Australia

Ribs & Burgers eyes Southeast Asian expansion

The brand sees Singapore as a “good launchpad” for their regional entry.

Months after opening itself up for franchising, Australian fast casual boutique restaurant Ribs & Burgers has set its sights for expansion in Southeast Asia.

“Singapore is a good starting ground, a good launchpad for the rest of Southeast Asia. Malaysia (is) also attractive,” Blue Coral Concepts Business Development Director for International Ernesto Ferreira exclusively told QSR Media, adding that he is a fan of joint venture partnerships due to having “bigger upsides.”

Ribs & Burgers stressed that they are looking for franchise partners that have had similar experience and mindset to the brand and Blue Coral Concepts as a whole. Ideally, the brand says, they want partners who have been in the hospitality industry and understand the efforts and challenges in running a food and beverage business.

The business is also looking for franchisees who are interested in a different concept and are looking to add a brand to their group, emphasizing the importance of selecting people who know what will be involved in doing business.

“[It is] very important to build teams and build team cultures,” he added.

Ferreira, along with executive general manager David Ovens, make up Blue Coral Concepts’ management. Ferriera joined the company last year after a long career in Nando’s.

Creating unmatched customer experiences
In his view, the rise of supermarkets in the grab-and-go convenience space is the biggest threat to the industry.

“As an antidote to that, restaurant[s should] create experiences for guests that can’t be matched.”

Ribs & Burgers is confident to do well in expanding and says that they have been fine tuning and developing the brand in terms for their restaurant design, equipment, service platforms, value proposition, innovation, and digital marketing.

(Also read: Ribs & Burgers teams up with 20th Century Fox to create the Deadpool Double)

Being a brand purist
They recently opened two outlets in Johannesburg in South Africa, with Ferreira confirming that they are planning to open “another four or five” stores. In taking the brand to different markets, he stressed the importance of being a “brand purist.”

“Don’t change how the brand operates or interacts with its customers. Challenges will come along the way and respond to them as and when they happen. Stick to the brand DNA,” he concluded. 

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