The world dining concept, which launched its first restaurant in Nottingham in 2004, will take over a site measuring 27,000 sqft in the city’s Cornerhouse retail and leisure complex this October where it can take advantage of higher footfall as well as the increased floor space.
Director and co-founder Helen Dhaliwal said: “When we first opened in the Lace Market it was a thriving part of the town, but since the Cornerhouse opened trade has shifted to the other part of the town, so we thought it would be best to move to where it is all happening.”
"We are hoping to keep our existing site, however. It won't operate as a restaurant, we will probably use it as an R&D facility. It was our first ever site, it's like my baby so I haven't got the heart to get rid of it."
The Next Level
While UK-wide expansion is key to the company’s future (it has secured its next site in Leicester with a planned opening for end of 2012/beginning of 2013), its relocation within Nottingham and the extra 10,000 sq ft afforded by an extra floor at its Manchester restaurant in Deansgate, opening this Thursday, indicates Dhaliwal and her husband and business partner Parmjit's reluctance to let current sites stagnate.
Manchester’s second floor – dubbed The Next Level - will not only be used as extra dining space but enables the restaurant to better cater for the corporate market or those wishing to host private events.
Dhaliwal said there had been a growing demand from corporate customers for facilities better suited to their needs.
“The Manchester restaurant has been our most popular venue by far since we launched it last year," she said. "We always expected to hit our targets but we have seen a huge surge in demand in the last 12 months from both corporate and casual diners, this is why we have expanded to provide flexible corporate dining facilities and relief during peak times.
“Upstairs, along with offering the Wi-Fi, we’ve installed booths where people can hold business meetings in a quieter and more comfortable setting.”
Focus on staff
Adding another floor to the Manchester restaurant will also create another 20 jobs on top of the 130 from the original launch. In all, 720 people are employed across Red Hot World Buffet's seven sites, with a large percentage of them chefs.
"We have 38 chefs at our Manchester restaurant and 32 on average at our other sites," said Dhaliwal. "It requires so much manpower to serve 10,000 people a week with freshly-prepared, quality food. All our chefs will prepare the standard dishes, but contrary to what some people think, each site will have its own dishes and chefs will have the freedom to create what they want to create with the ingredients we get in at that site each day."