The Korean fried chicken restaurant, Gami Chicken & Beer has almost 20 venues across NSW, VIC, WA and the ACT. By offering 100% RSPCA Approved chicken at every one of these venues, Gami has made an ethical choice to source humanely farmed chicken, that customers can feel good about. Who said fried chicken was a guilty pleasure?
Food for sharing with friends
Running a business together has been a dream for the founders of Gami since they were at uni.
The four friends – Jun Lee, Rio Yoon, Ayden Jung and Max Ji – studied at Monash University together and would meet every Friday for a Korean dining night. Like all students, they talked obsessively about what they imagined their futures might be. They agreed that it would be nice to do something together, once they had some real world experience under their belts.
After graduating, two of the friends went on to work in marketing and sales, while the others worked in hospitality. When they got together at a pub a few years after uni, they recalled their dream of teaming up to create something of value. With two chefs amongst them, going into food made perfect sense.
They loved the idea of trying something with Korean food, because they felt Australia’s fondness for having fun by sharing food with friends was very similar to the culture in Korea.
They called their business ‘Gami’ – which means ‘beautiful taste’ in Korean.
Not the K.F.C you’re thinking of
Korean Fried Chicken! While Korean barbecue has been a popular concept in Australia for some time now, the country’s style of fried chicken has only gone more mainstream down under in recent years, thanks in a large part to Gami.
In Korea, fried chicken is a national specialty and an important part of the country’s gastronomic identity. There’s even a word to describe the pairing of chicken and beer: chimaek. It’s been reported that there are more fried chicken shops in South Korea than there are McDonald’s outlets worldwide.
When the first Gami restaurant opened in the Melbourne suburb of Carnegie back in 2006, there were a variety of Korean dishes on the menu. But by the time they opened another venue in Melbourne’s CBD three years later, the focus had narrowed down to that beloved combination of fried chicken and beer.
Spreading the higher welfare message
Since opening that first store in Melbourne more than a decade ago, Gami Chicken & Beer has expanded nationally. In a climate where other franchises are faltering, Gami is thriving. By 2020, they plan to have 45 stores open around Australia.
By sourcing RSPCA Approved chicken, businesses like Gami are prioritising humane food and animal welfare. Chickens are farmed with a focus on ensuring they can express their natural bird behavious, including perching, dustbathing and foraging. They also have more space inside the barn and good lighting which encourages them to be active.
Being RSPCA Approved means much more than a marketing term. RSPCA Approved farms must meet the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards and have regular on farm assessments by RSPCA Assessors who check the standards are being met. That’s why businesses like Gami are choosing to offer customers RSPCA Approved.
Not only is this positive for conscious consumers, it’s also good news for farm animals and higher welfare farmers too who are putting in the hard yards to improve how animals are farmed, today.