Ron Simpson and Julien Zaal, Co-founders, The Avocado Show

The Avocado Show: Serving Hearty and Healthy All-Avocado Meals

Some of the most trending and healthy meals in the western world contain avocados as a key ingredient. Originating from Mexico and Central America, avocado is renowned for its high nutritional value and creamy texture. The fruit is not just palatable but also contains healthy fats and fibre that help in the prevention of diseases like cancer, heart problems, also controls cholesterol, and has numerous benefits for the skin and eyes.

All these properties combined and more make avocados a popular fruit among the community to be consumed in all meals and forms, like as a topping in a healthy sourdough breakfast toast, in a delicious salad, as a dip, in wraps, and more.

The Avocado Show was conceived by Ron Simpson and Julien Zaal, the founders of the company, who recognized the health benefits and popularity of the fruit and thought of opening up a whole avocado-themed restaurant.

In an interview with Insights Success, Ron and Julien talk about how they came up with the unique idea of opening up an avocado-restaurant franchise and the adventures they had so far while setting up and running the company.

Below are the highlights from the interview:

Brief our readers about The Avocado Show’s franchise, its niche market, and your vision for the franchise.

The Avocado Show has become one of the world’s most loved avocado restaurant brand. Since opening our first location in 2017, we have attracted a social following of more than 200,000 passionate fans. In that time, we’ve also managed to open multiple locations in our hometown of Amsterdam as well as in Brussels and Madrid – with London and other cities soon to follow. We currently have more than 20 restaurants planned or under construction.

Our mission is to bring joy to avocado lovers, and we are aiming to do that with like-minded partners who share our DNA in cool cities throughout Europe and in other markets.  

List out the prominent offerings of The Avocado Show, and how are these ascertaining your position in the market?

Our core concept is called Pretty Healthy Food: visually stunning and delicious signature dishes. Each of our creations is crafted with love from sustainable avocados. Said another way, our formula has four key components: beautiful presentation, amazing flavours, focus on sustainability and delivering all of this with good vibes to complete the experience.

Our menu is also carefully crafted to serve all types of foodies. Vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, pescatarians and omnivores can all find amazing dishes without compromising on taste or experience.

Being in a leadership position, what is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the restaurants and food servicing industry?  

The past one and a half years has proven to be challenging in many ways, but it has also opened many doors. We have used the time to retool our systems, improve processes, upgrade our locations and prepare for re-opening.

Along the way, we have also been opportunistic in the real estate market and are emerging from the pandemic with more locations and an even stronger outlook. We believe strong brands with focus and determination will always succeed.

How necessary do you think it is to align a franchising business with modern technological developments when it comes to adapting to the evolving customer needs and preferences?  

Luckily, our marketing team is uncompromising in its consumer-first mentality, and our operations team agrees. From a technology perspective, this can be as simple as having a QR accessible menu or as complex as a custom digital ordering and payment platform (which we will be testing in 2022). But the motivation behind these things is the same, which is to keep up with what consumers prefer, expect and demand. 

In your opinion, what could be the future of the restaurants and food servicing industry?

We believe the coming years will be driven by the convergence of new technologies and the evolving expectations of younger consumers. Technology will allow for faster service, more intuitive interaction, and greater convenience. We see consumers continuing to prioritize and vote for sustainability, transparency, and honest, fresh ingredients with their food choices.

Veganism is another growing preference, which we have already embraced. We focus not only on vegans, but also on flexitarians who we believe will make up a majority of consumers in the future.  

As an established business leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the restaurants and food servicing industry?

First and foremost, know who you are. Keep your core idea simple and focused. But at the same time, you have to be open to input and feedback from your fans and customers. They can help steer you in the right way. Hire good people and listen to them. And last but not least, expect surprises and setbacks, and learn from your mistakes. Perseverance is key! 

How do you envision The Avocado Show’s competency in 2021?

We keep our focus on bringing joy to avocado lovers. With this in mind, we make decisions that deliver on this promise. From expansion to operational excellence and people development, our emphasis on sustainability, and the way we incorporate technology and use data to improve – everything we do is so we can provide a better experience for our guests. 

Exhibiting Excellence

“Working with TAS HQ has been a hugely exciting ride; combining our efforts and backgrounds we’ve been able to successfully launch the brand in Spain even during the current context, particularly difficult for the hospitality industry. This process has only made our partnership stronger and built an amazing bond between both teams.

We picked TAS for a number of reasons: its unique gastronomical offer, the fluidity with which TAS navigated social media in spite of being a small footprint company, the fact that it became a brand before it was able to become a chain but most importantly the people leading the brand. We believed in the concept, and its management structure convinced us!” –  Eduardo Guenun, City Food Factory S.L., Franchisee, The Avocado Show Madrid

About the Leaders

Friends Ron Simpson and Julien Zaal envisioned The Avocado Show as a magical place full of good vibes and avocado dishes. The two long-time friends opened their first restaurant after many years in the Amsterdam nightlife and event scene, during which they gained a sense for marketing and branding, as well as first-hand experience with every hotspot and hospitality event in the city. This gave them the insights they needed to create a successful concept. Shawn Harris joined the company in 2018 as investor and advisor, which accelerated the brand’s growth and expansion. Shawn’s many years of experience as founder of Nature’s Pride (one of the largest importers of fruit and vegetables in Europe) has proven invaluable.