Viva Brazil, the Brazilian steakhouse restaurant chain founded in Liverpool in 2010, is preparing to open its third venue in Cardiff as part of expansion plans that see it operating eight sites by 2015.
The 160-cover restaurant in a 4,500sq.ft site on St. Mary Street in the Welsh capital officially opens tomorrow after a two-day soft launch period and joins restaurants in Liverpool and Glasgow operating under the Brazilian BBQ concept.
The company, which was co-founded by North West-based restaurateurs Andy Aldrich and Jaf Siddiqi, now plans to push on with expansion into further cities around the UK with the aim of developing a nationwide brand.
"We have got Edinburgh looking very likely for April next year," managing director Aldrich revealed to BigHospitality. The company is also in early negotiations over sites in Bournemouth, Leeds and Newcastle. "We would like to get up to eight by the end of 2015," he added.
Aldrich has worked in the hospitality and restaurant industry for 16 years and with Viva Brazil has the financial backing of two private investors plus Santander Corporate Banking which has been with the operation since the start.
Both the investors and the bank joined together to fund the latest launch 50:50, a model that is expected to continue for the next couple of openings.
However the entrepreneur said he did not feel the brand was ready to hit London just yet and argued there was a misconception that new, innovative concepts were purely the mainstay of the capital.
"We are all about the quality - no piece of steak or meat goes out to a customer until it has been tried by the head chef or the head passador. We source all our meat and do factory inspections of any butcher we use. I have tried some of our competitors obviously and felt like they have come up short - the meat has not been great."
Diners visiting Viva Brazil pay a fixed-price for lunch or dinner and can then choose from 15 different cuts of meat, all slow roasted over a charcoal BBQ while also visiting a salad island offering salads, sauces and a selection of other hot dishes. Seafood, desserts and the wine and cocktail list, including Brazilian options, are then extra.
"I think everyone loves the actual concept - it is my favourite restaurant to eat in and I own it! It is great value meat but it appeals to everyone - even vegetarians," Aldrich concluded.