Entrepreneur Interview: Matin Miah of Rudie’s restaurants

Name of entrepreneur: Matin Miah

Location: Dalston, Hackney

Date launched: October 2015

Number of employees: 15

What does your business do? Contemporary Jamaican Restaurant

Where did the idea for your business come from? Travels across Jamaica experiencing the unique island culture, food, drink and music. Rudie’s specialises in “real jerk” and creative small plates using traditional Jamaican ingredients and flavours.

How did you know there was a market for it? I couldn’t find any cool Jamaican place to dine and hangout. London has a fantastically varied cuisines but Caribbean category was still lagging behind and there was an obvious gap in the vibrant London restaurant sector.

How did you raise funding, and why? Majority in the form of founders capital investment, and the balance through “asset financing” for equipment and F&F. We also considered commercial loans however they are difficult to secure for a start-up restaurant.

Describe your business model in brief? We’re equivalent to what’s described as a “premium casual dining” restaurant. Rudie’s has a focused menu inspired by classic Jamaican dishes and ingredients but served in a small plate / sharing format. We appeal to a broad customer base but the primary customer base are young professionals between 20-40 years. Approximately a third of our revenue is generated through “wet sales” primarily from our signature rum cocktails.

What was your first big milestone and when did you cross it? First birthday in October 2016 having completed a full annual cycle. This has been an invaluable experience in understanding (and hopefully predicting!) the trading patter at different times of the year in the local area and our customers dining habits. Should put us in better stead for the year ahead…

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? You must have deep passion for what you want to do as that will keep you inspired and dig deep when necessary. Of course an idea that fills a gap in the market and differentiates from the competitors; always aspiring to be the best. And of course surround yourself with good people where possible.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time? Running a successful, loved, game changing multi-site restaurant business.

If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be? An inspiring entrepreneur…

What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell? All’s well that ends well

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.