Richard McCandless, business manager at Thai restaurant group Chaophraya's latest venture in Glasgow, spoke to Janie Manzoori-Stamford about the new opening.
Chaophraya can accommodate up to 400 diners across four floors. Is there enough appetite for Thai food in Glasgow to keep the restaurant full?
Yes, absolutely. Glasgow is known for its diverse culinary tastes and we believe there is a real gap in the market for Thai cuisine and culture in the city. Chaophraya is guaranteed to be a popular destination for those looking to enjoy an authentic taste of Thailand in the heart of Glasgow city centre.
Are there any challenges to sourcing the volume of authentic Thai ingredients needed for such a large operation?
There are certainly challenges in ensuring authentic ingredients such as Thai sweet basil are transported quickly from Thailand to Glasgow. However, we have very good suppliers who manage this process excellently, ensuring we have fresh deliveries several times a week.
Have there been any issues with recruitment?
We had a high volume of applicants wanting to join Chaophraya and we have recruited a team with a range of fantastic backgrounds and experience. Our executive chef, Rungot Tammakeysar, has more than 45 years of experience working all over the world with a diverse range of cuisines and will be fantastic at leading the team.
So far, Chaophraya has opened in the north of England and now Scotland. Any plans to bring the brand south?
Chaophraya is always looking for new opportunities and markets to expand into, especially in the mega cities. This is not only further south but also to the north should the correct opportunity arise.
What excites you most about your new role?
Working with Europe's largest Thai restaurant and all the challenges and rewards that brings. Glasgow is a fantastic city and I'm really looking forward to being empowered to run the business and establish Chaophraya with the Scottish audience. I've always loved Thai food but this is my first experience of working with Thai culture and cuisine.