Melbourne’s premium fish bar, Tommy Ruff is expanding again. Off the back of its success in Elsternwick, Windsor and Mordialloc, the family of seafood experts have revealed a new flagship site will open just a few doors down from its Main Street venue in Mordialloc. Postcoder are lucky enough to speak with owner, John Stamoulis about how he and his wife, Helen have taken Tommy Ruff from a classic nostalgic fish and chip shop, to a unique dining destination that is a step ahead of anything in the market.
Who, or what would you say is at the heart of Tommy Ruff?
Our family, which includes all staff members. We’re all passionate and committed and come to work every day with a positive attitude.
Who are your customers and why are they special?
Everyone who loves seafood and its benefits! Having started almost 30 years ago, we are now serving children of the customers we first served when we started. Their support and feedback is extremely valued and special to us.
How do you connect with your customers?
First and foremost, we think it’s really important to connect with our guests on a personal basis. As we’re a family-run business, human interaction is particularly important and what sets us apart from the rest. We also ensure we’re posting regularly across social media to communicate exciting menu updates and news. Our customers love it!
How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?
We never compromise on quality produce and never substitute fresh fish with anything frozen! Our focus is on flavour, health and a diverse seafood selection that is ALWAYS fresh.
What would you say has been your magic moment at Tommy Ruff to date?
Not to sound corny, but it’s magic every time we open our doors. Customers really appreciate the effort, value and quality we deliver.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received?
Surround yourself with people you can train to be better than you!
And finally, what is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to start a business based on everything you have learnt?
Believe in what you want to deliver and listen to your customers. Every day you should feel committed to do it better – no compromise!!
What do you love most about what you do?
Being surrounded by my family who inspire me in everything that I do.
What’s one thing that always makes you happy?
What’s your rule of thumb when it comes to inspiring your team?
Never ask them to do something you are not prepared to do yourself.
What do you think is the most common mistake that people make when starting a business?
Not allowing themselves enough time and money before launching a business and having unrealistic expectations. It’s also very important to achieve a work life balance.
What’s your pet hate?
I hate a no-can-do attitude!
Who inspires you?
My wife and children inspire me every day.
Last awesome book read?
“If you have nothing good to say, better to say nothing at all!”
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Savoury or Sweet?
What’s your favourite holiday hotspot?
Samos, where my Father was born in Greece. I’m currently sitting on the beach right now.
What’s your #1 time management tip?
My number one management tip is improving on any previous management tip.
Best guilty pleasure?
Best way to spend a Saturday night?
Socialising with my staff and customers at one of our Tommy Ruff restaurants.
121 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181 | (03) 9521 7195 | www.tommyruff.com.au
Shop 3/1-3 Carre St, Elsternwick VIC 3185 | (03) 9077 8815 | www.tommyruff.com.au
574A Main St, Mordialloc VIC 3195 | (03) 9580 2525 | www.tommyruff.com.au