BRINGING a business that works well in one area to another is always a risk, but the idea behind Thai Basement Gladstone is as simple as "if people want it, they will come back".
Owner of the family restaurant, Tai Lam, runs a Chinese/Vietnamese and a Thai restaurant in Rockhampton, but saw an opportunity to progress to Gladstone with the re-invention of its counterpart Rusty's Motel.
The new Thai Basement can seat up to 105 people inside and out, half the size of Mr Lam's Rockhampton restaurant.
Mr Lam said what had been on offer was similar to other restaurant quality in town, which he believes isn't the same as the current Thai offering.
"What makes it stand out is the quality of food and the fresh approach," Mr Lam said.
"We've put the effort into the atmosphere, and exceeding quality. No plastic on tables. We've had the chairs and table cloths custom made."
In all, he has spent about $100,000 in upgrades from the outside paint-job in red with its funky high tables that change colour, to high-backed magenta-coloured chairs for dining with the red and black theme continued inside.
"It's fulfilling to sit back and look at the results,'' he said. "We've gone to a lot of effort with the details."
Mr Lam said his thinking was simple - good food, good prices, good customer service.
"If it's good they come back…it sounds simple but it works," he said.
"For the first month we'll focus on what we do best, which is the food."
Up to seven staff have been hired from around Gladstone, with some of the Rockhampton staff joining them for the opening and training.
"We'll have up to five on weekends; it's all table service," he said. "I'll be part of the kitchen deck, getting the best quality of food out to people.