A company has been set up, aptly called Ten in Eight, by Murchison and business partner Richard Pursey, who has been working with the chef for two years.
Alan Murchison Restaurants Limited, Murchison’s current holding company, will continue to run L’Ortolan, near Reading, and La Becasse, in Ludlow, which both hold stars.
Speaking at the launch of Paris House, his latest fine dining restaurant in Bedfordshire, Murchison said that the key motivation for the expansion was staff retention. “I have an exceptionally talented team of people at my restaurants. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy in them and I want to be able to offer them something to work towards so they don’t go someone else.”
The capital for the new sites will be provided by the revenue from Murchison’s existing businesses, and debt borrowing will be minimal. The pair are looking in affluent areas all around the UK and have already viewed a restaurant in Edinburgh. Murchinson said he was on the hunt for 30-50 cover sites with room for private dining or a chef’s table.
“It’s nearly impossible to make money in a 30 cover establishment. You need value-added high margin stuff like chef’s tables,” he said.