Zambrero owner defies COVID-19, opening second store
THE owner of Toowoomba's Zambrero Mexican food franchise will defy the tough economic climate and open a second store this month, protecting several local jobs.
Scott Chapman, who set up several Zambrero franchises across Queensland and opened the restaurant at the Walton Stores precinct in March last year, will push ahead with his new location at Northpoint Shopping Centre.
Mr Chapman said the second store would allow him to keep employing several casual workers who had lost hours as a result of the economic downturn created by social distancing restrictions.
"We are saying 'screw you' to COVID-19 and we're opening on Friday April 24," he said jokingly.
"Probably 15 months ago we founded the location at Walton Stores, and we made a commitment to ourselves that we would open a new store within 12 months.
"Our view is that we've got a heap of staff at Walton Stores who we can't give work to and a lot of those people are casuals who might not qualify for the JobKeeper payments.
"If we get Northpoint open, we can keep several of those people employed."
The second store would still adhere to social distancing restrictions by only offering takeaway and delivery options.
Mr Chapman said he preferred to establish his franchises in smaller, more suburban commercial precincts, making Northpoint an ideal location.
"We went to the Northpoint owners and said we wanted open our new store, it wouldn't make much money initially (due to COVID-19) but it would keep people employed," he said.
"I would much rather be in small suburban shopping centres, (because) people want to support you.
"We are all about being small business owners and that is why we're happy to pick Northpoint Shopping Centre."
Mr Chapman said he wanted to also support as many local suppliers and tradesman during the tough economic climate.
"We use Betros Bros as our vegetable supplier, PFD in Toowoomba is our food supplier, all our staff are local and our business manager moved to Toowoomba and bought a house," he said.
"Zambrero has a Queensland food supplier, but part of the deal I did with Zambrero was that I wanted to give it to local suppliers."
You can order Zambrero on the Uber Eats app or by calling 4632 0787.