Roast founder acquires Indian street food restaurant Moolis

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Indian street food, Street food restaurant, Take-out, Fast food

Moolis, the Indian street food restaurant which opened in Soho's Frith Street, has been bought from administration by Roast founder Iqbal Wahhab
Moolis, the Indian street food restaurant which opened in Soho's Frith Street, has been bought from administration by Roast founder Iqbal Wahhab
Roast founder Iqbal Wahhab has bought Soho's Indian street food restaurant Moolis from administration with plans for menu changes before expansion aspirations for the business beyond the current Frith Street site.

The acquisition was completed last week through a pre-pack administration. Wahhab has headed up a new company to complete the buy-out of the brand which was created by former city workers Mathew Chandy and Sam Singh in 2009​.

Mathew Chandy

Chandy, told BigHospitality the business had progressed as far as it could under current ownership and would benefit from the vast experience that Wahhab would bring to the brand.

"It reached the stage where we felt like Moolis needed bigger muscle, deeper pockets and the ability to grow and expand more quickly than we could but it was also important that it was somebody who shared the vision for Moolis and would help it achieve the potential that it should," he said.

Expansion plans

Wahhab, who also launched the Cinnamon Club Indian restaurant in 2001, said the purchase was part of plans to extend the reach of the street food brand which had been instrumental in creating a new space in the casual dining area.

"We are going to keep the integrity and the offering of Moolis intact. It is a great product, it has a great loyal following and the chef Raju Rawat is staying on board and we will be working with him on putting some tweaks together on the menus and then looking to expand it to other areas," he said.

Wahhab is already looking for other sites for the business to expand with hopes to open a second Moolis in London by the Summer. Wahhab also said the brand was very well placed to flourish outside the capital because of its price points, was popular with younger people who wanted a 'fun' variant on the UK's most popular food. "Its intention always was to be a multi-site operation and we are in a good position to facilitate that," he said.

Wahhab said he had always been a fan of Moolis and had also always wanted to do something at the different end of the dining spectrum from the high-dining Indian offering of the Cinnamon Club so when the opportunity came up he jumped at the chance to take the business to the next stage.

Roast

In 2010 Wahhab opened a second site at Westfield shopping centre in London of the British food concept Roast. The Westfield site was the first fast food outlet for the brand which launched as a restaurant in Borough Market in 2005.

At the time of the launch, Wahhab said more takeaway sites could be part of the future plans for the brand if the Westfield venture was successful​ however the acquisition of Moolis remains a separate venture to Roast.

Related topics: Business, People, Restaurants, Venues

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