THERE are few things Chris McInnes doesn’t know about the world of fashion retail.

He spent a decade worrying about merchandising, styling and selling garments to thousands of customers on Glasgow’s high street at one of the city’s most popular clothing giants.

So, it might come as a bit of a surprise to know his new focus – cheese. Lots, and lots of cheese. Deep fried, melted or shredded. In need of a cheese-smothered delicacy? He’s your man.

The reason for the 29-year-old’s stark change in profession is all thanks to a small Anniesland deli, dubbed Lunch.

A café which saw Chris give up his life as a manager in River Island and transform himself into the co-owner and creative genius behind the insanely popular eatery, which now boasts a staggering 71,000 Instagram followers.

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“My dad owned Lunch and he was doing all the food,” Chris said, “I was just trying to help out.

“I thought there’s a market out there for people who want to look at good food and I didn’t think a lot of people had clicked on to the Instagram stuff.

“At first, I was trying to get 10,000 followers to invite people in, then it all went mental.”

He added: “I remember getting to 16,000 and thinking ‘this is a big deal’ and we were converting this into real customers and money.”

It’s not just cheese on the menu, of course.

The eatery has every craving-induced, hangover-curing, your-doctor-will-hate-you-for-it dish that anyone could possibly imagine. And, it is incredible.

With genius creations – such as The Mac Stack Burger, which features a spicy chicken fillet topped with macaroni cheese and American cheese, or the Philli Melt Double Wrap, including two 4oz patties, minute steak, peppers, onions, jalapenos, cheddar and a cheese fondue dip – it’s not hard to see why it’s a must visit location for the world of Instagram foodies.

Chris, from Dennistoun, and dad, Billy, have worked together to create a mouth-watering menu which brings people from all over the country desperate to get their hands on one of the unique creations.

Chris said: “I failed all my exams in school, went into River Island with no qualifications and worked my way up.

“My background was in sales and customer service and how to treat customers, so that was my focus and my dad’s was the food.

“People get too caught up in the following, but how you treat customers is the real key – that’s what brings them back.”

Chris has no problem bringing customers back.

In fact, the cafe became so popular, he’s now opened a second location in the South Side and, he has big plans for the rest of the city.

Tophski’s, on Carmunnock Road, is the newest addition to the family’s takeaway line.

Amassing more than 35,000 followers in just a couple of days, the site has proved just as big a success as it’s predecessor.

However, the South Side location – which got its moniker thanks to a family nickname for Chris – could have taken the social media brains away from the original Great Western Road site.

He explained: “As Lunch grew, people were travelling to it, so we thought we could get another place and I thought about leaving, going out on my own.

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“But, my dad saw how much I was doing and he decided to make me a partner.

“We knew we wanted to do something similar, but not the same, so we introduced chips.

“It sounds daft, but chips were never on the menu at Lunch, so we set about trying to think of what we could do with chips.”

Worrying about chips is a far cry from how it all began for Chris and his family.

The cafe was purchased by Billy after he lost his job a few years ago due to the after-effects of the 2008 recession.

The former retail manager only took on his role after he began to find things “boring” at his current workplace.

They had no plan for the future, just a hope that they could “make it work”.

When he joined the team, it was “just a 9am to 3pm cafe” which didn’t open on a Sunday.

He saw the potential to transform it into the mega-hit it is today and, thankfully, his dad was ready to support his plan.

Despite the success they’ve had over the last couple of years, it’s still not sunk in for Chris.

“The opportunity was there and my dad offered to match my wages, so I thought ‘let’s do it’”, he said.

“I can’t believe it’s got to

where it has. Everyday we get more followers and it’s really strange.

“I try to distance myself from it, but I do set targets and then the next thing you know I’ve got one of the biggest social media followers.”

He added: “When you think about it, we could fill Ibrox or Celtic Park with our followers.”

Today, there really is no stopping Lunch – not even a pandemic. While other businesses have gone under, Chris was faced with a new issue.

The culinary hotspot was so popular, he had to create an app to offer collection timeslots to put a halt to the masses queuing round the block for one of their dishes.

Chris has his sites set on taking the cafe back to his East End routes, but he’ll wait until the situation with coronavirus becomes a little clearer.

“When we opened Tophski’s and that kind of boomed as well, we had about 50,000 followers for Lunch, so I thought it was the right time because it was enough to make people go.

“But, my cousin always says if I opened a shed people would come.

“Ideally, we’ll get back to the East End and then maybe something in the north and then maybe franchise if people want us.”

He added: “I’m just trying to see how far I can take it but, it’s been so non-stop I can struggle to enjoy it, so I’d want to take a bit of time to just enjoy it.”