22 December 2022

Rashays finally opens its doors with a ceremonial pour of mushroom sauce

| Chris Roe
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Man pouring sauce

Sam Krayem performs a unique opening ceremony at Wagga’s new Rashays as franchisee KB Singh watches on. Photo: Chris Roe.

After months of walking past and wondering what was going on behind the closed doors of Wagga’s newest Baylis Street restaurant, Rashays has finally come to life.

Passersby were greeted by clouds of orange balloons and an army of staff was on hand to welcome them inside as the exuberant Sam Krayem staged a unique opening ceremony.

“We’re not lighting the torch, we’re a bit different to the Olympics, we’re a bit different to the World Cup, we’re here to pour the creamy mushroom sauce over the schnitzel!” he declared.

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The Sydney-based head of food and beverage live-streamed the event, presenting the franchise owners with their aprons, leading them through a pledge and proceeding to welcome diners with free meals and deals.

“I’m just so excited to be opening,” Sam enthused, reflecting on the original plan to open earlier in the year.

“There’s been a lot of logistical issues, especially with the current climate waiting for equipment and things like that.

“I thought, we’re not going to open until we get it right. So we had to have all the pieces of the jigsaw in place, so once we did, we were ready to open.”

Sam Krayem

Rashays’ Sam Krayem says the franchise is moving into a number of booming regional cities. Photo: Chris Roe.

Franchise owners Kieran and KB Singh and business partner Manu Singh are in the process of moving to Wagga after operating a Rashays in Green Hills outside Newcastle.

“We have been operating that one for a couple of years so now coming to Wagga is an extension,” says KB who first became familiar with Wagga on journeys to Griffith for the Shaheedi Tournaments.

“We like it here, it’s a beautiful place.”

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Kieran said it was always a dream of hers to own a restaurant.

“When the Penrith Rashays was opened we got excited seeing the crowds enjoying the food and the menu and we loved to go to Rashays, so then we planned to open one,” she says.

“I like that it’s a family restaurant with a bit of something for everyone and things that the kids can eat.”

Rashays opening

Wagga Rashays’ new franchisees watch on as Sam officially opens the restaurant. Photo: Chris Roe.

Launched in Sydney in 1998 by husband and wife team Rami and Shannon Ykmour, Rashays (a portmanteau of their names) has grown to more than 30 restaurants and recently began moving into larger regional centres.

Sam said it was the next logical step.

“They told me it was a town, but when I drove in I said, ‘This is a city!’

“The population in Wagga is growing tremendously and especially in the business district and this is what was a major attraction for us.

“Also a lot of our supplies obviously come from regional towns, and it’s a big part of our business model to employ locals and get involved in the community through sponsoring sports and things like that.”

In the meantime, the Singh families are looking forward to settling in and introducing the region to something new on the family dining scene.

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