The “Rachel” of Rachel’s Kitchen is more likely to be found in elementary school than in the kitchen of the franchise that bears her name. At just 9 years old, Rachel already has four eateries named after her in the Valley—and that number is growing fast.
It’s her mom, Debbie Roxarzade, who decided to name her first Las Vegas-based restaurant after her daughter when she moved her family to Las Vegas in 2006 from Los Angeles, where she had several other restaurants at the time.
It’s all about family-friendly comfort at Rachel’s Kitchen: Highlights include all-day breakfast, the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, Rachel’s chicken salad sandwich, wraps and fresh-fruit smoothies. For dinner, burgers and pasta hit the spot, even for those on special diets, now that Rachel’s Kitchen offers gluten-free breads and quinoa pasta.
The fourth location of Roxarzade’s enterprise recently opened Downtown in the southwest corner on the first floor of the Ogden apartment building. Roxarzade is happy to be part of that rapidly growing area’s vibrant new energy. “Downtown is cleaning up a lot, and I see the changes every time I’m down there,” Roxarzade says.
Don’t dare leave Rachel’s Kitchen without trying the pecan bars. Think good old-fashioned Southern pecan pie, but in a more portable form. A gooey pecan bar after lunch can put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Even with the brand’s recent growth, Roxarzade is careful to whom she sells franchise rights. “I’m trying to be very selective as to who we choose and also not grow so fast. As much as we do want to grow the brand, I just want to make sure all the kinks are worked out,” Roxarzade says.
Rachel’s Kitchen operators have to do their part. Although some franchisees may come from an entirely different line of work, what they have in common is the fervent desire to start their own business. And, Roxarzade observes, they are willing to take risks. But with growth comes the possibility of too much, too soon, and having it all go south.
Roxarzade cites food, ambience and value as the top reasons why people return to her restaurants. But part of what else makes Rachel’s Kitchen successful is the ability to cater to a diverse client base. “You could come [to Rachel’s Kitchen] on a business meeting, on a date, you can bring the kids, you can come here after a workout and grab food to go,” Roxarzade says.
In order to ensure quality and consistency at all locations, Roxarzade uses a commissary kitchen to make some of the base recipes needed in the storefronts. Recipes are written and followed to within one-sixteenth of an ounce of salt, and meetings and inspections are held on a regular basis. Going beyond the usual comment cards, Roxarzade invites guests to text her their suggestions. “The fact that we care makes people want to give us the opportunity to succeed,” says Roxarzade, something she does not take for granted in this touch-and-go economy.
With attention to detail in place, two more Rachel’s Kitchens are scheduled to open before the end of summer. The first is under construction in Centennial Hills, and the second is a smaller version of the restaurant planned for McCarran International Airport.
And keeping Rachel’s Kitchen in the family as the business grows is a strong possibility. “As [Rachel’s] getting older, there’s more talk of that. It’s kind of evolving,” Roxarzade says. And what could be more natural than Rachel in Rachel’s Kitchen?