Steak and curly fries as popular as it was 25 years ago
CURLY fries have proven to be a beloved dish in CQ's food culture, and now the creator of the chips, Hogs Breath, this week celebrates 25 years in Rockhampton.
The business began next-door to it's current location in 1993.
Daryl Eastermann took it over in 2000 when it had the lowest turnover in the Hog's system.
Within five years, Mr Eastermann moved the business to its current location with seating for 200 people.
In 2011, the restaurant achieved the second highest sales in the group and twice won Franchise of the Year.
The key to success Mr Eastermann says is consistency with good quality staff and the same kitchen staff.
"People appreciate the service they get from the staff, it is that experience they remember more so sometimes than the type of food they are eating," he said.
Mr Eastermann, who also celebrates 18 years as the owner next month, has seen a lot of new restaurants and cafes open.
That includes the the extension of Stockland's dining precinct The Terrace, but said he hadn't felt the effects of it too much.
"People try new things, they like a bit of variety so any time something new opens, people will go and try it for a couple of weeks and then it will even out," he said.
Over the years, he has seen a lot of loyal customers who he says are his best critics and give the best feedback on how things are travelling and what's popular.
By keeping on top of trends and what is popular, the hospitality business has evolved over the years.
The latest major change is two new delivery vehicles for takeaway orders online.
Mr Eastermann said takeaway and delivery took up 12 per cent of the Australian dining market and it's share was growing.
Implementing deliveries in June was a "no brainer" which has proven to be a good move and very popular.
And for the staff, it has been a learning curve, changing the way the kitchen works, packing deliveries and the logistics coordination.
- Aquatic Place, North Rockhampton (Stockland)
- Open from 11.30am - late, seven days
- Kids eat free Mondays and Tuesday
- Takeaway delivered, delivery fee from $7: www.menulog.com.au
- Visit www.hogsbreath.com.au
The restaurant launched a new menu this week to time with 25 year celebrations.
The franchise is constantly developing and adapting the menu every 12-18 months as trends evolve.
"Our core prime rib steak we cook for 18 hours, that doesn't change, that is what our traditional menu is based on," Mr Eastermann said.
In the last few years, more healthy options have been been added with the mix of salads and wraps.
"But it's still the old die hard steak and curly fries that's pretty popular," Mr Eastermann said.