The latest version of the Restaurant Impossible restaurant franchise will only be able to operate in Queensland if it gets permission from the Queensland Government.
The Restaurant Impossible franchise in Newport has been struggling for months to obtain the necessary permissions from the state Government, which has given the franchise the green light to begin operating in the Sunshine State.
In a statement, Queensland Restaurant Association chief executive officer Andrew McNeil said the franchise needed to get the permission to operate because it would be the first in the state.
“Newport has one of the most diverse and diverse dining scenes in the country, and we want to ensure the brand is recognised and loved by our customers, staff and patrons,” he said.
Newport restaurant group manager Peter Lohr said the Restaurant Epic is the brand that he wanted to be a part of, but he would be disappointed to hear the franchise was not allowed to operate.
“I can understand that it’s an aspiration, and that we would like to be able, but I would be very disappointed if that didn’t happen,” he told ABC Brisbane.
“It’s a great brand, it’s a really good concept, and I think we’re very much in the market to be the next brand to be built around that.”
He said the restaurant group had spoken to several potential franchisees, but that it was unlikely to be granted the franchise it is looking for.
He also said the group would be looking to partner with a private equity group to buy out the franchise.
Queensland Restaurant Association’s Mr McNeil says it would have been a very difficult process to secure the required approvals, given the number of approvals required to operate a restaurant in Queensland.
“The process would have taken about two and a half months, and the whole time it was being run by the Newport Restaurant Association,” he explained.
Mr McNeil has asked the state to consider allowing the franchise to operate, as he said there were many other restaurants in Queensland that could provide the same type of experience.
A spokeswoman for the Queensland Premier has confirmed to ABC Brisbane that the Government is looking into the matter.
If the franchise is not allowed access to Queensland, the restaurant chain will be unable to operate and Newport will be forced to seek other sources of food and wine.
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