Healthy quick-service restaurant Greenstreat is rapidly expanding its retail presence. It is set to open a new location in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond, with the goal of opening two more Melbourne locations – in Fitzroy and the CBD – within six months. Greenstreat was founded by brothers Jackson and Jesse McGrath, who grew up making salad dressings, sauces and glazes with their family, and selling the products at markets across Australia’s east coast. They started the business in
in Albury – a regional NSW town – in 2018, before expanding to neighbouring Wodonga in Victoria and the Brisbane CBD.
Jackson McGrath told Inside Retail that Australians want healthy options, as well as transparency with what they are eating, and where their food is coming from. He said they worked tirelessly to develop a menu, build relationships with – and highlight – the farmers supplying Greenstreat’s produce.
On the first day of opening in Albury, the business had a 100-metre line that formed around the corner. With demand continuing in the years following, McGrath was confident that the business could achieve success in metropolitan areas. Four years later, he said the brand has developed a product that people want, with traffic continuing to grow in each location.
“On our first day in Albury, [we] sold 200 salads. Then, on our first day in Wodonga, we sold nearly 1,000 meals. [It reflected how] our brand recognition shot right up over those last few years. Brisbane is a different beast, and it took longer to build that brand recognition because it’s a new market,” McGrath said.
“But every store that we’ve opened has grown year on year. Brisbane will get close to doubling its trade next year, and Melbourne is a whole new ball game. We’re really excited about the Swan Street store [in Richmond].”
McGrath explained that his parents owned restaurants, and they used to drive from Albury to Melbourne to be inspired by the food capital of Australia. He added that he and Jesse have worked tirelessly on the fit-out of the store, which is 93 per cent plant-based.
“Few people in the hospitality industry think about the sustainability side of [store] fit-outs,” he said.
“Our [fit-out] is bright, durable and made with plants, vegetables and food matter.
“The next thing we’re trying to get to is our nuts and screws, and how we can disassemble something if we need to move, and use it again.”
Slow, then fast
According to McGrath, it is easier to move quickly to new areas, as it enables the brand to leverage on its brand recognition, attract hooligans (Greenstreat staff: as per the 2005 Green Street film about football hooligans in the UK), get all of the infrastructure in place, and have an impact within different communities.
“We have the foundations to open three stores within six months, [which means we’re] doubling the size of our business. We’re moving fast in Melbourne but, when you look at our history, we’ve moved quite slow [as it took us] four years to get to this place,” he said.
Beyond expanding its retail footprint, Greenstreat has built an in-house app from scratch, and customised it to reflect the brand’s vibe and experience. McGrath said that over 30 per cent of its business is conducted digitally, with Brisbane sitting at 43 per cent.
He anticipates that about 50 per cent of its Melbourne orders will take place online, or via the app.
Another feature that’s being developed is the Streat Cred digital currency. Whenever a customer orders through the app, they receive a certain amount of Streat Cred, which can then be used on food or merchandise.
He said the long-term plan is for Streat Cred to have value outside of the business in the future.
“We’ve gotten a lot more people ordering through the app, which is great,” he said.
“Instead of ordering one meal, customers might encourage the whole office to order through the one account, so they get the benefit of redeeming Street Cred.
“We’re pushing hard on the tech side to be the leaders in Australia [in this field, and] we’ve grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years.”
People want healthy food
Greenstreat is also developing an in-house delivery system, which will enable the brand to have more control over delivery orders and times, and the overall customer experience.
McGrath said that, if something goes wrong on a third-party platform – and the customer has a disappointing experience – it can reflect poorly on the brand, even if it isn’t their fault.
The plan, he said, is to launch the product in 2023.
Although the business started regionally, and is expanding in metro areas, McGrath firmly believes that there are opportunities for businesses to break into areas outside the city.
“If you don’t grow up in a regional area, it can be daunting, but [if] the product works, it doesn’t matter where you are, people will want it,” he said.
“We’ve received the same messaging everywhere – people want healthy food. It gives me a lot of confidence moving forward, to hit both regional and metro areas.
“We happened to start regionally, and are making our mark on the city now.”