Business News

Double R expands Romacelli

by Amanda Bedgood

The ever-growing Lafayette-based Double R Restaurant Group continues to thrive with plans for the expansion of new Romacellis throughout the state.

Randy Daniel, Stuart Ottinger and Andy Hayes

Confirmation from Lafayette-based Double R Restaurant Group that it will expand its Romacelli concept throughout the state comes about a year and a half after the company announced a mega effort to open new Another Broken Egg Cafés over the next decade, including 40 throughout South Florida. Double R is headed by longtime business partners Rodney Savoy of Lafayette and Robert Gagnard of Las Vegas.

Double R President Stuart Ottinger confirms the addition of Randy Daniel and Andy Hayes, both formerly of Outback Steakhouse, to the management team with a goal of spearheading the growth of the Italian restaurant with a South Louisiana twist. Daniel is district manager for Romacelli and Hayes is manager.

The third Romacelli (there is one in River Ranch and one in Sugar Mill Pond — both developments from the Southern Lifestyle arm of Double R) is slated to open within the year in Couret Farms in the Carencro area. Couret Farms, located near the intersection of I-49 and I-10, is the north Lafayette equivalent of River Ranch and Sugar Mill Pond.

“We are getting all our ducks in a row,” Ottinger says of the Romacelli expansion, though he says the company has not yet determined where it will take the concept next.

The largest presence of the Double R restaurant footprint remains Another Broken Egg Café — Double R is the largest franchise group for the breakfast, brunch and lunch spot. (The Lafayette ABEC in River Ranch is not part of Double R.)

“The 40-store development agreement was over 10 years in South Florida, four a year,” Ottinger says. “We just opened our sixth Florida location [in early May]. We just acquired Tennessee so now we operate in six states. ... We have 21 [ABECs] in operation and [two] under construction, and we have now begun to focus on Romacelli,” he continues. “It’s great food and a great concept, and we want to be able to develop that across the state. Another Broken Egg has been the focus for the last several years.”

ABEC continues to be a priority with ongoing development projected at five to eight new eateries each year across the country. The group has more than 1,000 employees, with 30 to 35 people working each location.
“Our goal is to really develop Romacelli the same way we did Another Broken Egg,” Ottinger says. “We only have two locations, but they are really supported by the communities they are in.”

He attributes that success to the combination of the relaxed atmosphere and quality of food.

“We make our own dough daily and breads daily in-house. The quality of ingredients and the food — it’s a great family-friendly casual concept that really focuses on quality food in a relaxed atmosphere,” he says.