Like a lot of operators, Luck Sarabhayavanija put his restaurants on pause for a time during the pandemic.
Sarabhayavanija closed his then-six locations of the Ani Ramen House concept and laid off most of his staff. He launched the brands Rock City Pizza and Bang Bang Chicken, which operated as nonprofits, through which people could buy meals for hospital and other front-line workers.
When Ani Ramen House began to reopen again, Sarabhayavanija said it felt almost like opening a different concept because the full-service concept had grown its takeout and delivery business so significantly.
Now Sarabhayavanija said the restaurants are doing about 50/50 dine-in versus off-premises, and the group is preparing to relaunch as a full-service concept again. That will involve a rethink of the menu because, he said, “our restaurants aren’t designed to serve 40 to 70 guests inside our restaurant and still do 100 takeout orders in an hour.”
And Montclair Hospitality Group is ready to turn back to growth, he said. Four more restaurants are expected to open this year, including the core Ani Ramen House brand and some new ideas Sarabhayavanija has in the works.
Here’s Sarabhayavanija with more on the growth to come.
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