In 2017, Ron Simpson and Julien Zaal opened The Avocado Show in Amsterdam. From day one, the restaurant was a roaring success. Now, they have four locations - three in Amsterdam and one in Brussels. At the beginning of September, The Avocado Show announced it would be opening 19 new branches. These will be in cities like Paris, Madrid, and London.
Ron Simpson and Julien Zaal
Since opening The Avocado Show, Ron and Julien have been inundated with hundreds of franchise inquiries. This year, these will become a reality. “When we started The Avocado Show, we expected some attention. But we never thought the concept would become so popular around the world,” says Ron.
“The idea is actually quite simple. Julien and I are both from Amsterdam. We wanted to do something fun together, and we eat avocados every week. There were countless salad and juice bars. There was, however, not yet a restaurant that completely focused on one of the most popular and healthy products of our time - the avocado. That’s how the idea for The Avocado Show came about.”
“Avocados contain many nutrients that other fruit and vegetables don’t. That’s what makes it so immensely popular throughout the world. People are becoming increasingly aware of their diet. And especially during this pandemic, healthy eating is more important than ever. The avocado fits perfectly into a healthy lifestyle. It’s extremely versatile and tasty, too,” Simpson continues.
Ron doubts a mono-restaurant focused on another product would be as successful. “I don’t think a papaya restaurant or a kale bar will work, despite those being healthy products. Avocados can be served both hot and cold. You can also use them in savory as well as sweet dishes. You can’t do that with all products.”
“Nature’s Pride supplies our avocados. Together with them, we searched for the perfect avocado for our restaurant. That’s the Hass variety. The Hass has a stable supply chain, so we’re assured of year-round supply. This is the most well-known variety too. It’s, therefore, the most recognizable to our guests,” says Ron.
“In the kitchen, we only work with Class I avocados. So, we limit our waste streams. If the avocados aren’t used for one of our signature dishes, we can always use them in, for example, guacamole or smoothies. We use between 250 and 300 avocados per outlet per day.”
“Avocados don’t discriminate”
Avocados’ popularity has been on the rise in the Netherland for five to ten years now. It’s no longer only eaten by the hip and young generation. “The great thing is that avocados don’t discriminate,” says Ron. “In our restaurants, there are families, older couples, hip youngsters, and children. Avocados are already well established, so everyone knows them."
"However, it’s striking that it's mostly women aged 18 to 40 that visit our restaurants. The dishes are priced at an average level by Amsterdam standards. We’re not a snack bar, but also not a high-end restaurant. The Avocado Show is a restaurant for everyone.”
The first overseas restaurant opened in Brussels in 2018. “The next 19 restaurants are all located in Europe and the UK. But the concept has global potential. The Avocado Show won’t work in every town or city. It comes into its own in culturally relevant cities with a lot going on. That could be anywhere in the world. One thing's certain - avocados are a gorgeous, special product. Its popularity will continue to grow. Put avocado on your menu or add it to your assortment - the avocado era is far from over,” concludes Ron.