Wagga’s foodie culture is set for a flavour explosion with two new franchises looking to call the city home.
A Grill’d franchise is in the early stages of preparing to make the move to establish its latest store.
The business claims it is all about “burgers done good” and was established in 2004 in Melbourne suburb Hawthorn and has expanded to more than 120 restaurants.
The Advertiser understands the restaurant is looking to move into two tenancies at the Wagga Marketplace’s Baylis Street entrance, which were formally occupied by a jewellery store and an optometrist.
The site will cater for 185 patrons, including outdoor seating, and will be licensed to sell alcohol.
It will trade until 10pm from Sunday to Thursday, and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.
Grill’d sets itself apart from other fast food restaurants by claiming to offer healthier options.
The company’s website breaks its food options down into categories, such as “low sugar”, “low carb” and “paleo” to educate consumers on what they are putting into their mouths. It also serves up all the nutritional information for each menu item.
Ingrained Nutrition accredited nutritionist Peta Adams said while the burger chain offered a lot of healthier options, she warned Riverina residents, who already carry the unwanted tag as one of the fattest regions in the country, to be wary of the kilojoules they were consuming.
“Grill’d offers the option of traditional buns, gluten-free buns and lower GI, or lower carb buns,” Ms Adams said.
“But at the end of the day the kilojoule count (for a number of menu items) is similar to other chains – some are around 3000-4000 kilojoules.
She praised the company for its transparency in showing the nutritional value of their products, but threw the gauntlet down to consumers to educate themselves on what that data meant.
“(3000-4000kj) is quite a lot for a lunch option,” Ms Adams said.
The nutritionist pointed to Grill’d’s zucchini chips as an example of what could be perceived as a healthy option.
“The energy density is totally different (to what you may cook at home),” she said.
Another restaurant franchise, Schnitz, is looking to set up on Forsyth Street where a McDonald’s used to reside.