The Retzos family business bridges generations

By Morgan Dyer

From a young age Shepparton’s Stephen Retzos had an endless supply of finger lickin’ good chicken which made him the envy of all his school friends.

But the family-owned Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises his father, Chris Retzos, managed throughout his childhood, always meant more to him then just great tasting chicken.

“I’ve been working in the company for nearly ten years,” said Stephen.

“It’s always something I thought I would do,” he said.

Stephen, 33, is now the general manager of the Retzos group, the company which owns more than 50 KFC stores across Australia.

In the past few months, Stephen worked alongside his father Chris to build a new KFC store in North Shepparton.

“We opened the doors on Thursday,” Stephen said.

“Opening a new business in Shepparton is really exciting and it has been on our radar as the city continues to grow,” he said.

While Stephen was putting the final touches on the new store on Wednesday, his three-year-old son Christopher paid him a visit and gave the store the tick of approval and recreated an iconic family photo.

“The first photo was taken of Dad and I in Shepparton when we first started the business 30 years ago,” Stephen said.

“So, it was really special to be able to recreate the same photo with my own son today.

“Hopefully one day in the future Christopher will be able to take the same photo with his children,” he said.

But the family ties don’t stop at the Retzos name, as the business aims to make every worker feel like family.

The organisation recently appointed 22-year-old Caitlyn Harbrow as the North Shepparton store manager.

“I was 15 years old when I first started at KFC,” Caitlyn said.

“I was just a regular team member and worked my way up the ranks and it's incredible to think I am now running the brand-new store.

Caitlin has spent the past six months training 60 new staff members who will work at the Shepparton North store.

“KFC always focuses on its people and always puts their people first,” Caitlyn said.

“It's not only a job but a place where friendships are formed.

“It’s a real community feel and it’s great to know we have employed local trades to build the store and employed all local staff to work in it.

“As the store manager, customers can expect great, friendly service, a fresh new store and of course great tasting chicken,” she said.

The North Shepparton KFC is now open and operates Sunday to Thursday from 10.30 am to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 11 pm.