CHASING THE DREAM
Rossi’s dream was to take the normal fish and chip to the next level. One where diners can come in,
sit down to eat in a space with ambience, and even have a beer. It’s a Melbourne-made take on the ‘fast casual’ category pioneered by the likes of burger chain Grill’d.
To fulfil the vision, he and Panayi recruited their dream team: Adrian Malarbi in brand and marketing, Frank Sculli as chef and Robert Bolitho for the interior/venue design.
“It’s a little bit of a strange one, but it’s where the market is heading,” Rossi says. “As a fish and chip shop, people still expect it to be the normal routine, but it’s not. We need to reach out and let people know that we’re not normal.”
Malarbi, who’s responsible for the brand and marketing aspects of the business, says the location was chosen carefully. “We started off by looking at the demographic of the people here, and what would appeal to them. You’ve also got to look at the price point, what people will spend, create the menu based on that, then work from there.”
It’s common knowledge that Melburnians are very attuned to good food. “They know what a good chip is,” says Malarbi.
“But then there are other people who are still coming off the frozen era of fish and chips, so that’s why we have to create a communication piece to say, ‘This is what we’re about, this is what we do’.”
A couple of slick YouTube videos illustrate the brand’s style and its take on food. “Once you empower people and educate them, they start knowing and relating to what you stand for, what you do and how you do it,” Malarbi says.
“It’s really just about pushing out the message about what these guys do and letting it grow.
“What we’ve done is provide restaurant-quality techniques and food in a takeaway-paced environment,” says Malarbi.
“The way the fish is cooked... I’ve been to restaurants that don’t do it that well.”