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Danish steakhouse MASH sets its sights on expansion

By Sophie Witts , 20-Jan-2016
Last updated on 20-Jan-2016 at 15:46 GMT2016-01-20T15:46:22Z

Danish steakhouse MASH sets its sights on expansion

Danish steakhouse group MASH has announced plans to open a further two London restaurants before considering expansion in to the North of England.

MASH – short for Modern American Steakhouse – is eyeing up locations in Mayfair and the City to launch two 120-150-cover restaurants in the next year.

The group operates six restaurants in Denmark and opened its first international site  - a 300-cover steakhouse on Soho’s Brewer Street - in London in 2012.

Appetite for steak

London steakhouse openings have boomed since MASH first opened its doors - with Flat Iron , Zelman Meats and Beef & Brew all launching in the last six months alone.

But MASH marketing director Mikkel Glahn told BigHospitality that the brand remained un-fazed by the competition.

“The steakhouse scene is definitely very competitive,” he said.

“When we started in London Hawksmoor opened on Air Street on the exact same day, and the week after STK opened in the old BBC house.

“Luckily for us all London is still a very nice city to visit so tourists will keep coming – so we don’t see [customer demand] as a problem.”

Searching for sites

Though MASH is hoping to open the new restaurants ‘as soon as possible’, Glahn said that the group was struggling to find the right venue in an increasingly competitive London restaurant market.

“We’ve been searching for a while and it’s very difficult,” he said.

“We are not owned by a hedge fund or private equity, so when it comes to a competitive scene like London it can be a problem because we don’t simply have the buying power all the bigger groups have.

“But the London market is still growing and our concept is really doing well here so we’ll keep on fighting for a second and third venue."

MASH goes Mancunian

Glahn revealed that while MASH sees its limit as two to three restaurants in London, the group has its eye on expanding north.

“We recently visited Manchester to see how things were going up there," he said.

"The interest from international operators is still very high in London, but I think we will see more London concepts like Burger and Lobster moving up to Northern cities, and perhaps so will we.”

MASH was founded in 2009 by Copenhagen Concepts restaurateur Jesper Boelskifte, owner of the Le Sommelier, Umami and UmamiGo brands.

The group opened its second site outside Denmark in Hamburg in 2015.