Following the success of two branches in central Brighton, Foodilic is making its London debut next week with a 25-cover restaurant opening in King's Cross.
But Ilic isn’t stopping there. The restaurateur, who also owns five ‘Little Bay’ restaurants in Brighton and London, is currently in the process of selling his house in order to raise funds for a major Foodilic expansion, which will begin with a central kitchen.
“I’m thinking big with this brand,” Ilic told BigHospitality. “I’m trying to sell some of my personal property to open as many sites as possible as quickly as possible – we don’t have any finance from the banks.
“Next I will open a central kitchen, which will make it much easier to open more outlets. I would like to have at least 30 in London over the next five years – another couple this year and then three or four next year. If I sell my property then that number will rise.”
Funding for the first London site, on Pentonville Road, has been accrued from the profits of the existing Foodlic restaurants in Brighton’s Western Road and North Street. The new outlet will again be takeaway-driven; offering a similar ‘mix and match’, healthy-focussed menu with food items including raw salads, vegetarian and vegan dishes, and sweet and savoury ‘feuilleté’ pastries.
Despite an ever-growing level of competition within the grab-and go market in London, Ilic explained that it is the healthy focus of the Foodilic brand that will help it stand out from the crowd.
“With life in the city becoming increasingly frantic, people are tending to favour the fast-food takeaway options which, whilst quick to eat, are often very fatty and sugary,” he said.
“With bodies such as the World Health Organisation pressing the issue of maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding unhealthy foods, my aim is to provide nutritious, value-for-money food options that will benefit the health of my patrons, as well as their wallets.”
For the expansion, Ilic will be looking specifically for A1 sites in prime locations in and around the capital. Guildford, in Surrey, has been cited as an ‘ideal location’ for the brand, and a number of senior members of staff are currently being sought to drive this business growth.
“I’m not an expert in fast food so I’ll need someone to guide me with this expansion,” added Ilic. “I want to employ more professional people who have done this kind of business before.”
The Little Bay Restaurants brand, which has sites in Brighton, Croydon, Farringdon, Kilburn and Battersea (currently closed for refurbishment) continues to trade as normal, but Ilic said he is not actively looking to expand that business in the near future.
Foodilic will open at 260 Pentonville Road, King's Cross, next week, with an opening 50 per cent off promotion running throughout March.