'We're looking for people with initiative who are willing to grow' - Chopped announce 300 new jobs
MORE THAN 300 jobs will be created across Ireland as health food chain Chopped opens 20 new stores across the country.
The rapidly expanding franchise - which has turned the concept of fast food on its head - currently sells over 20,000 salads on a weekly basis from its 19 existing stores.
By the end of 2017, some 320 jobs - both part-time and full-time - will be made available with the opening of the new stores in Wicklow, Cork, Waterford and Dublin.
A further 110 jobs will be created in the UK as Chopped grows internationally for the very first time, opening six new stores there.
The new outlets - which will be a mix of wholly owned and franchises outlets - will join existing Chopped locations in Dublin, Kildare and Galway,
Independent.ie sat down with the Co-founder and managing director of the company Brian Lee.
Just how far is Chopped looking to expand?
"I don't want to become the next Subway and have a shop on every corner but where the demand is - and people keep sending in requests - we will go.
"We've done the research and if the demand and footfall justified the rents we will open up in as many locations as we can.
"For Ireland, the maximum we could be looking at is around 60 stores and then around 200 stores in the UK. The wider picture would be to spread across the world, to Australia and other locations.
"We want to be the leader in healthy fast food - taking the diabetes out of fast food."
Why has Chopped proven so popular?
"We got in at the right time, we created the first brand to lead (the sector) and we grew a brand that people got to know very fast.
"And of course our product is fresh every day; we would rather run out of our products than throw it out. People come back because of the quality of our products."
What are Chopped looking for in its staff?
"We're looking for a friendly staff of course, and quick learners. It's a vast menu and over a million combinations you can make so you want people who can be switched on, learn on their feet, learn as you go.
"We have people that have started as deli assistants and worked their way up to top management. So we're looking for people with initiative who are willing to grow.
"We encourage all our staff to eat healthily and be the brand, live the brand. I practise what I preach - train in the gym, eat healthy - this is who we are. If that spread into the staff it would be great."
Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said she wished Brian, co-owner Andy Chen and their staff continued success in the future.
"Indigenous Irish businesses such as Chopped are important to the national economy as well as making a valuable contribution to local areas through employment and expenditure," she said.
"It's great to see young business people in Ireland build on their success here to fuel international expansion and I wish Brian and Andy and their staff continued success in the future both at home and abroad.”