Roy Yamaguchi plans to addBy Betty Shimabukuro
to his empire of 14 restaurants
Chef Roy Yamaguchi has entered a partnership with the Tampa, Fla.-based Outback Steakhouse Inc. chain to further the expansion of his restaurant empire.
The first restaurant to be opened by the new Roy's Outback Joint Venture Partnership will be in Dallas or San Francisco at the end of this year or the first quarter of 2000, Yamaguchi said Saturday while attending the Cuisines of the Sun food festival in Kona.
Since 1988, 14 restaurant have opened under the Roy's name -- five company-owned operations in Hawaii, two partnerships in Japan and seven franchises in four U.S. states and Guam.
All future restaurants will open under the joint venture, Yamaguchi said. "My goals are huge ... as many restaurants as we can build."
He has already announced plans for sites in Denver, San Diego and Kihei, Maui.
"From this point we're going forward as a partnership, Outback and Roy's."
The deal with Outback has been under discussion for three years, Yamaguchi said, and will be formally announced later this week.
Yamaguchi is a partner in the franchisee for Hawaii's two Outback Steakhouse restaurants, in Waikiki and Kahana, Maui.
"Outback Steakhouse is definitely the premier restaurant company in America today," he said. "Their whole belief is not only serving great food and having great service, but the philosophy of taking care of your staff, building teamwork."
The partnership will provide the capital to fuel the already explosive growth of the Roy's chain.
The award-winning chef says he would like to open restaurants as quickly as he can train his staff to take over new outlets.
The new venture also will be international in scope, he said. "I would love to go into Russia . . . It's a real possibility."