Assal, whose background is in food distribution, told BigHospitality he had identified a gap in the market for a healthy chicken-led concept and hoped that his new venture, which will serve oven-baked chicken with the option of 10 different natural flavourings, would be well received.
"I have had the idea for about a year and a half and wanted to offer something different to what is out there already," he said. "We will offer 10 different flavours with chicken as the foundation to the dish. There are no breads or wraps on our menu, just salads, rice and potato wedges, so we are going for a healthier approach, especially in that everything that is cooked will be oven-baked, not fried or grilled."
The first Gallus, Empire of Chicken, opens at 103 Charing Cross Road in London on Monday. The restaurant will take the quick service format with dishes served in biodegradable packaging that can be eaten in or taken away.
Although the restaurant will offer counter-service, Assal said the company was investing heavily in its staff to deliver a quality service-focused experience to diners. As well as having a well-staffed counter, the restaurant will have hosts on the floor to answer queries and ensure diners have what they need.
He said: "We will be making sure that people are looked after and if we've got queues they'll be able to manage them. It's an additional investment that most operators in this area wouldn't want to make, but we see it as key to the brand and a way of gaining feedback, especially at the start."
Assal, who has recruited former Coffee Republic head of operations Patrick Mooney as UK operations manager, said the company's aim was to open 15 restaurants in the next 15 years with up to five of them in London and the rest in busy cities such as Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.
The company will also look at expanding into the Europe and the US.
Gallus, Empire of Chicken is inspired by the Roman Emperor Gallus whose name was borrowed from the Latin for chicken. As the Emperor marched his legions across the globe, they feasted on chickens, seasoning them with flavours from whichever country they happened to be invading at the time.
The restaurant's meat will be halal and sourced from chicken producers in the South East of England. It will also serve oven-baked falafel for vegetarian diners.