A RESTAURANT owner has big plans for a new franchise after its doors were opened to the public for the first time.
Flaming Rooster, a restaurant which specialises in chicken, last night served up its first plates to diners in Port Solent and owner Scott Matthews is excited about the project ahead.
Scott, 31, also the owner of nearby Relentless, has created Flaming Rooster to serve various marinated chicken dishes cooked in a secret sauce.
The eatery, which was given a £150,000 makeover, comes on the back of the success of Relentless, a steak and lobster restaurant.
And Scott, who started out as a pot washer after leaving school without any qualifications, believes his new project can thrive.
He said: ‘We’ve been looking at a new business for quite some time.
‘We buy our products from a farm we know, which makes it easy for us as you have to have people who you know you can trust. It is going to be a learning curve for the next few days and we’ve had good feedback so far.’
Scott, who lives in Emsworth, is the only restaurateur in Port Solent to be independent and pays £150,000 a year in rent.
But he believes he has an advantage over chain restaurants in the vicinity.
Scott added: ‘Everything we make is fresh. Things like the nachos we sell don’t come from packets, our chefs make them.
‘The difference between us and franchises is that our chefs prepare everything themselves and they are excited in the kitchen to get the tickets to come through.’
Flaming Rooster, which has opened in the former Rimjhim curry house unit, has employed more than 30 staff, including catering students from Highbury College, and offers booth packages to book for £20, which include balloons, a share platter and a birthday sundae bowl.
Despite just opening, there are plans to open a new place in Brighton soon.
Scott hopes Flaming Rooster can become a franchise across the south.
He said: ‘I think we can do it and we are going to build the brand.
‘I know the owner of Casa Brasil, who also have a restaurant in Brighton, so that will be a good help if we run out of things!’