Originally printed in THE BUSINESS POST
The family-run restaurant chain has ten outlets in Dublin
By Elaine O’Regan Oct 2, 2016
Company: Kay’s Kitchen
Done deal: €1.2m rebrand
The clincher: “The right opportunities have come along and we’ve been able to find good locations. We never rush in and we’ve never expanded just for the sake of it” – Steven Glover, managing director, Kay’s Kitchen
Kay’s Kitchen, the family-run restaurant chain with ten outlets in Dublin, has completed a €1.2 million rebranding.
The company has opened two new in-store outlets in the past 12 months in partnership with SuperValu shops in Lucan and Ballinteer.
A third outlet opened in Cycle Superstore on Airton Road last April under the name Frameworks Café.
The company has refitted and upgraded seven existing restaurants situated in shopping centres in Blanchardstown, Lucan, Donaghmede and other areas.
It employs 150 people, including 20 chefs and bakers at a central kitchen in Clarehall.
“In the past year, we’ve grown by about 42 per cent,” said Steven Glover, managing director of Kay’s Kitchen.
“The right opportunities have come along and we’ve been able to find good locations. We never rush in and we’ve never expanded just for the sake of it.”
Kay’s Kitchen was established by Glover’s grandmother Kay, together with his parents Bart and Bernie. Its first restaurant opened in Donaghmede Shopping Centre in 1979.
“My grandmother had been employed in a café in Dunnes Stores in Donaghmede that was sub-let and they closed it down.
“The centre approached my grandmother and asked her would she take a unit.
“My mother is a publican’s daughter from west Cork, so she had the experience working in hospitality serving customers.
“My dad at the time was earning good money selling coaches and buses, so he took out the loan to start the business. It’s remained very much a family business ever since and that’s something I’m really proud of.”
The company responded to the increased popularity of fast-food outlets in the 1990s by investing in staff skills and prioritising fresh ingredients.
As a member of Love Irish Food, it sources ingredients from local suppliers where possible, including Glanbia, Musgrave, Keelings and O’Mahony Meats.
“My dad always says we’re ‘a 37-year overnight success’. When fast food came in, people in the business were de-skilling and chasing that model.
“Fast food has always been our main competition on price. To stay competitive, we brought in chefs and we used their skills to cook ourselves out of trouble in terms of margin. That kept us competitive in our market.”