weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Rachel’s Kitchen owner looks for franchisees right for the job

Rachel’s Kitchen is on the move, literally and figuratively.

Owner Debbie Sofer Roxarzade, who named the California-style bistro after her daughter, has found a new home for her restaurant at 3330 S. Hualapai Way, Suite 190. It originally opened in September 2006 at 3645 S. Town Center Drive, but that location was tiny, only 1,000 square feet.

It was so cramped, Roxarzade said she had to rent refrigerated storage space on Tropicana Avenue for supplies and food deliveries.

"It was bad from Day 1," she said. "We were going back and forth on a daily basis as we ran out of stuff. It was dysfunctional."

The new site, which opened July 28, has 2,100 square feet and seats 50 indoors and about 25 on its private patio. The first one could accommodate only 20 people inside, at best. The new site has plenty of space in back for storage. And it’s still in the Summerlin area, one of her criteria.

Fans who knew of the move followed her. Others found her again.

"Rachel’s was always our meet-up place," said Daphne Gastis, who was there chatting with friends. "I saw the sign when I went to Starbucks and said, ‘Ah, that’s where it went.’ So today I brought prisoners."

Another diner, there with prisoners of her own, remarked on the ambience.

"The staff is super friendly, and I love the healthy options," said Natasha Bello.

Rachel’s Kitchen is on the move in another way. Roxarzade is looking for franchisees to advance her brand further. Getting the franchise paperwork together while operating a business was a two-year process. She hired an attorney to handle the legal aspects, but a lot of the legwork fell to her.

She had to write manuals, outline procedures, specify suppliers and release her recipes. The last part was a leap of faith, as she has held her ingredients and preparation instructions close to the vest. But it had to be done to ensure consistency, she said.

"The last thing I want is for someone to have a salad and have it taste different (between locations)," she said.

Her first franchise leasee, Chris Connors, was a fan who opened a Rachel’s Kitchen in The District at Green Valley Ranch in 2009.

"And then the economy tanked," she said.

It wasn’t just the economy that stalled her plans. Roxarzade is careful about who will take the reins and open another location. As many as 50 people have approached her but didn’t make the grade for one reason or another.

She’s still looking and said she hopes to have 20 franchised locations, each 1,500 to 1,800 square feet, within the next five years.

Roxarzade said the timing was ripe for motivated people and that with so many restaurant vacancies and construction workers available for interior build-outs, a new location could cost $100,000 to $200,000 in startup costs, as opposed to $200,000 to $300,000.

What did she learn about herself?

"That I’m a crazy woman, that I have to stay focused and organized," she said. "It’s easy to get overwhelmed."

For more information, visit rachelskitchen.com.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Susan G. Komen organization announces 30 grants

Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, has awarded 30 new grants to researchers at 18 leading institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The $14 million in grants support the organization’s mission to end breast cancer through funding two key focus areas: research to better detect and treat stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer and research to eliminate disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

Mob Month is back at the Clark County Library

For the fifth year the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is making an offer some people find they can’t refuse. Mob Month is coming back to the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, with events Tuesday nights in January.

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]