With multi-cuisine, buffet-style outfits continuing to gather pace in the UK, Za Za Bazaar – the big-hitting newcomer which holds claim to the largest restaurant in the country– is set to open its second site, with fellow restaurateurs beginning to take note.
A new, 25,000 sq.ft restaurant with 600 covers is set to open in Norwich this Spring, following the success of the first Za Za Bazaar – a 1000-cover site in Bristol which opened in December 2011 . And, according to the company’s marketing manager Simon Howlett, this is just the beginning.
“We certainly are looking to expand and develop across a national perspective,” Howlett revealed to BigHospitality. “We seem to have a model that’s appealing - the customer likes it and I think people want to emulate it.
“Trading at the site in Bristol has been incredible. We opened in December and in our first month we had 60,000 customers coming to sign with us - which equates to 12 per cent of the population of Bristol!
“We have learnt from our time there that our fellow restaurateurs are really looking at what we’re doing and they are beginning to adapt accordingly.”
Za Za Bazaar Norwich
The new Za Za Bazaar will follow in the footsteps of the original, comprising a buffet concept with multi-cuisine at a fixed price. Overseen by executive chef Nitin Bhatnagar (pictured), each kitchen will be dedicated to a different cuisine, ranging from Indian to Chinese, Tex-Mex and European.
It will be priced at £12.95 during the week and £15.95 at weekends. There will also be dedicated salad and desserts sections and customers will be able to order as much food as they want.
This is a style that has taken off in recent years: Red Hot World Buffet, the northern-based buffet operator, has private equity backing to grow its estate to a potential 80 UK venues , while Cosmo and Jimmy’s World Buffet are other notable players which are continuing to expand.
“The biggest appeal we find is that we can cater for very large groups,” added Howlett. “Within those groups, people generally have different tastes. A large group can come along - it could be a family or work colleagues - and someone might like Chinese, someone might like pasta, or someone might like a more British affair.
“We have everything, so we are able to cater for all ages and all tastes.”
As for Za Za Bazaar’s plans for continued expansion in the UK, Howlett added: “We are looking at a number of sites. The important thing is to find the right location. As the sites become available, we will then be able to open up in those places.
“Obviously London is very interesting because it has the whole world within it. But also there are many other places in the country that have much to offer.”