Tossed to open 8th London site after operational changes

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: City of london, London

Tossed: expansion plans delayed
Tossed: expansion plans delayed
Healthy eating chain Tossed will be opening its eighth London site in September this year, while further expansion remains held back by a lack of suitable sites, says the chain’s owner, Vincent McKevitt.

The chain, which serves healthy, made-to-order fast food, had announced plans to open 25 sites by 2013​ further to securing a £1.5m development fund at the start of last year.

However, McKevitt said the chain has “struggled to find sites” that are a good match to its formula.

“There were not a huge amount of sites around last year, which is a shame because we had all this money,” he told BigHospitality. “Central London is a micro market, and in our space there are a lot of people that are still expanding in the lunch market.”

“It’s about finding the right venues. Our sites are quite expensive to kit out so we can’t afford to not get the right ones.”

London focus

The chain, which opened its first venue in 2005, is now present in seven locations around London, primarily in the West End. The first City location, in Leadenhall Street, opened this spring, while the next site to open will be in the Westfield Stratford shopping centre in East London.

McKevitt said he hopes to open one more site by the end of this year, although nothing has yet been signed.

He added that he has no plans to take the chain outside of London for the time being. “Why go elsewhere when you can open 100 sites in London? Operationally, it makes more sense to focus on one area.”

“We’re quite lucky because Tossed has quite a wide appeal – it works well in tourist areas, business areas and shopping areas.”

Quick service formula

The quick service operation aims to provide healthy food in large portions that can be made on the spot using any of 70 ingredients.

It includes a choice of 16 house salads and wraps, or guests can create their own, hand-made soups and stews.

There is also a smoothie and juice bar, as well as an early morning breakfast range, which is particularly successful in the City location.

Operational overhaul

Over the past year, McKevitt said the business has focused on refurbishing sites where necessary, building up a head office team, and improving operations to maximise profits.

“We changed our operational flow quite drastically. The biggest problem with our model is that we make food to order. We’re offering people 70-odd ingredients, with service between 12 and 2pm. By going into a big site (Leadenhall), we had to think about how to serve 300 people in an hour,” he said.

“We made huge improvements in our model over the last year, which made it more profitable.”

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