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Red Rooster

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Red Rooster
Red Rooster
FormerlyAlverno Pty. Limited[1]
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryFast food restaurants
Founded1972; 52 years ago (1972)
HeadquartersChatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
  • Kailis family
  • Clint Ault (CEO)
  • Roast chicken
  • Fried chicken
  • Chips and sides
  • Burgers
  • Wraps
  • Rolls
  • Beverages
Number of employees
ParentPAG Asia Capital through Craveable Brands

Red Rooster is an Australian fast food chain. It sells roast chicken alongside common fast food items, such as burgers, chips, salads, and beverages. Since 2021, it has offered fried chicken.

In 1972, Peter and Theo Kailis opened the first Red Rooster in Kelmscott, a suburb of Perth. They sought to compete with American fast food chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, which came to Australia in 1968, by emulating their standardised model. Red Rooster proved successful, growing to 45 stores in Western Australia and Victoria before Myer bought it in 1981. Myer's 1986 purchase and merger of another chain, Big Rooster, into Red Rooster expanded it into the eastern states.

In 2002, Chicken Treat owner Australian Fast Foods (AFF) acquired Red Rooster. It changed hands between private equity firms several times and is currently owned by Craveable Brands, a holding company of PAG Asia Capital which also owns Chicken Treat and Oporto. In 2010, most Red Roosters were converted into franchises. While it has experienced a decline in popularity in recent years, as of 2021, Red Rooster is the sixth-most popular fast food restaurant in Australia.


Beginnings (1972–1981)[edit]

In 1972, Peter and Theo Kailis opened the first Red Rooster in Kelmscott, a suburb of Perth.[3] The brothers were inspired by a chicken shop on Wanneroo Road.[4] It marked a departure from their family background in fishing, pearling, and seafood. Unlike local restaurants, Red Rooster sought to compete with American fast food chains by emulating their standardised menu, branding, and marketing strategies.[5]

At the time, American franchises such as McDonald's were yet to expand to Western Australia. They entered the Australian market in 1968, when Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) opened in Sydney, proving popular with the country's fledgling restaurant scene.[6]

Red Rooster quickly proved successful. In July 1981, when the Myer Emporium bought the chain for $8.97 million, it was the fourth-largest fast food group in Australia. It had 28 locations in Western Australia and 12 in Victoria,[7][8] alongside five Red Bull hamburger outlets, which were separate buildings on the same site as Red Roosters.[7][9] After the deal, Peter Kailis retained his positions as chairman and general manager.[9]

A family eating Red Rooster
A family eating Red Rooster

Myer (1982–2002)[edit]

In 1986, Coles Myer bought the Big Rooster chain to expand into the eastern states (except non-Steggles' Queensland stores, formerly known as "Big Rooster", which were purchased in 1992), and renamed the stores "Red Rooster".[10][11] Big Rooster remains operational in Papua New Guinea.

Modern era (2003–)[edit]

In 2002, Red Rooster was purchased by Western Australian company Australian Fast Foods,[12] which owned the competing Chicken Treat fast food chain. In 2007, both chains were sold for $180 million to a consortium formed by the management and Quadrant Private Equity.[13]

In 2009, the Red Rooster chain in New Zealand closed its stores.[14] The first New Zealand outlet, in Takanini, had opened in December 2004.

In 2010, Red Rooster changed company-owned stores to franchises.[15] In 2011, Quadrant Private Equity sold parent company Quick Service Restaurant Holdings (later renamed Craveable Brands) to Archer Capital.[16]

In 2019, ownership switched to PAG Asia Capital, a private equity group based in Hong Kong, who bought Craveable Brands for about $500 million.[17] In Queensland later that year, seven Red Rooster stores on the Sunshine Coast closed when the franchisee went into voluntary administration.[18]

The demographer Bernard Salt has noted that Red Rooster restaurants in Sydney are almost all in Greater Western Sydney, with the 'Red Rooster Line' dividing the city between the richer east and north, and the poorer west and south.[19]

Marketing and promotions[edit]

Red Rooster Fried Chicken

In 2009, Red Rooster ran an advertising campaign called "They don't get it in America" featuring comedian Tom Gleeson in the United States asking people about Red Rooster.[20][21]

In 2010, Red Rooster was a sponsor of Supercars Championship team Holden Racing Team. In 2016, the team returned as the title sponsor of the Sydney SuperNight 300.

In 2011, Red Rooster changed to promoting its restaurants as healthy, fresh and quick.[22]

Red Rooster launched its trial delivery service through Menulog in September 2014 from the Baulkham Hills, New South Wales restaurant,[23] in partnership with Menulog.[24] As well as delivery to homes, it was announced delivery options to businesses, sporting clubs and local organisations would be available.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Australian Fast Foods Pty. Limited :: Australia :: OpenCorporates". OpenCorporates. 23 January 1989. Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  2. ^ "About Us". Red Rooster. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. ^ Murray 2018, p. 105.
  4. ^ Rasdien, Peta (9 February 2018). "Hawaiian pack inventor Peter Kailis still enjoys a Red Rooster favourite". PerthNow. Retrieved 5 March 2023.
  5. ^ Murray 2018, p. 106.
  6. ^ Murray 2018, pp. 101–102.
  7. ^ a b "Mac looks West". The Bulletin. Vol. 102, no. 5316. 1 June 1982. p. 101 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "Myer purchases Red Rooster fast-food chain". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 July 1981. p. 17 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ a b Porter, Ian (10 July 1981). "Myer grabs Red Rooster in big move into fast food". The Age. p. 16 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Coles Myer buys Big Roosters". Canberra Times. 21 May 1986. p. 29. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  11. ^ Beyer, Mark (17 April 2007). "Red Rooster/Chicken Treat in $180m private equity deal". Business News. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  12. ^ "Australian Fast Foods acquisition of Amalgamated Food & Poultry Pty Ltd". Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. 30 April 2002. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  13. ^ Carson, Vanda (17 April 2007). "Consortium buys Red Rooster". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  14. ^ "Liquidators' First Report Red Rooster Franchising (NZ) No.3 Limited (In Liquidation)" (PDF). Meltzer Mason Heath. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Sonti, Chalpat (17 November 2010). "Red Rooster result affected by franchise conversions". WAtoday. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  16. ^ Ooi, Teresa (14 June 2011). "Archer buys up $450m worth of quick chicken". The Australian. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  17. ^ Waters, Cara (12 July 2019). "Red Rooster and Oporto snapped up in $500 million deal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment Co. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  18. ^ Carey, Alexis (16 October 2019). "Red Rooster outlets shut up shop in Queensland after franchisee put into voluntary administration". News.com.au. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  19. ^ Chrysanthos, Natassia; Ding, Ann (22 September 2017). "Food fault lines: mapping class through food chains". Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  20. ^ Ife, Holly (17 September 2009). "Ginger ninjas invade our TV screens". News.com.au. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Red Rooster: They don't get it". Bestadsontv.com. 6 January 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Red Rooster". Red Rooster. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Red Rooster Baulkham Hills". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Red Rooster Trials Delivery". Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  25. ^ Holroyd, Jane (6 August 2014). "McDonald's home delivery takes off across Australia". Good Food.


External links[edit]