Brody Sweeney's new business looks beyond Dublin
Brody Sweeney's Thai food venture Camile is expanding beyond Dublin.
The businessman, who founded the O'Brien's sandwich chain, told the Irish Independent that Camile is looking for franchise partners in Cork, Limerick and Galway, who will have to invest up to €250,000 to open an outlet.
The eighth Camile outlet will shortly open on Dublin's Pearse St. Mr Sweeney said the Dublin restaurants will be company-owned and those outside Dublin will be franchises. Camile, which specialises in home deliveries ordered online, had net turnover of around €4m in 2014.
"We opened three new outlets last year which almost doubled the size of the business. A busy Camile will do more than €1m net turnover a year," he said.
"It's a good business for an operator to get into; if he's running the business well he should be able to take 15 to 20pc of that to the bottom line."
Mr Sweeney is no longer involved with O'Briens after his end of the business went into liquidation. "We got caught up in the hubris that everybody else got caught up with. We took a lot of properties at the top of the market in 2007, 2008 that on reflection were madness," Mr Sweeney said.
"We got involved in maybe 50 leases in Ireland where the rents were too high, and when sales took a downturn in the recession we were on the upward-only rent reviews," he said. "The basic structure of the business was unsustainable."