Award-winning student Rui Daniel is entering Jerks’, an original restaurant concept, into VOOM 2016 contest. Daniel, who is experienced in business, was born is Lisbon, Portugal, but his roots are in Angola.
Virgin Media Business #VOOM 2016 is a business competition open to UK and Ireland start-ups. Business owners have to pitch to Virgin Airlines owner Richard Branson. Contestants can win up to £1 million (€1.2 million) in prizes as well as a mentoring session at 10 Downing Street and a paid trip to Necker, Branson’s island in the Caribbean.
Jerks’ seeks to be a lunch and dinner destination for authentic Afro-Caribbean cuisine throughout the UK. Its menu will feature grilled and fried food, including spicy, crispy jerk chicken and cold, refreshing drinks like powerful ginger and sweet hibiscus. The restaurant will have a number of vegetarian options, including red beans and rice and sweet friend plantains.
Once Daniel’s business is established, Eric Ho, founder of YoYo Noodle, the first Chinese cuisine franchise in the UK, has agreed to support it.
Rui Daniel said: “We plan to have a strong reputation for excellent customer service and we are planning to develop a customised mobile app to allow busy people to pre-order and pick up their food right away.”
Daniel thinks it’s important to establish a sustainable model, which is why he wants to introduce cutlery that contains no preservatives and will not end up in the landfill. If you don’t feel like eating them, they start to decompose within 4-5 days after using them.
Rui Daniel said: “The Afro-Caribbean cuisine is fantastic, however, it lacks representation. Jerks’ is here to change the picture. The Caribbean food market has seen 15-percent, year-on-year growth in retail, as well as an upswing in the restaurant and street food sector.”
Research from the Food Innovation Network found that 44% of shoppers are searching for new and interesting offerings. At Jerks’, Daniel plans to bring customers delicious food, a consistent yet innovative menu and outstanding customer service.
In the meantime, Daniel hopes to get votes in VOOM 2016 and receive financing and feedback to open the restaurant’s very first location. After receiving feedback from customers and staff, Daniel hopes to expand to new markets.
Rui Daniel said: “Jerks’ is interested in growing quickly and sustainably and becoming a tasty, affordable choice on a street near you.”
You can vote for Jerks on VOOM’s website: http://bit.ly/1X4xkUx