The new 100-cover, split-level Sevenoaks site is the company’s tenth restaurant, and underwent a £250,000 refurbishment. It will be followed by another opening in Maidstone during the autumn.
Giggling Squid is set to exchange contracts on four additional properties in the coming weeks, and is in negotiations on four more sites across southern England, though managing director Andrew Laurillard told BigHospitality that there are no plans to open a venue in London in the short term.
The firm launched in 2009 and currently operates venues in Brighton, Hove, Crawley, Tunbridge Wells, Henley-on-Thames, Reigate, Stratford-upon-Avon, Marlow and Horsham – the latter and most recent opening, averaging between £25,000 and £30,000 in weekly sales.
Rustic street food
Giggling Squid’s healthy tapas menu puts the emphasis on seafood and a street food feel, including a choice of six tapas-style ‘tasting sets’, individual tapas dishes, bigger dishes with rice, ‘combi’ meals with starters and an evening menu of over 50 dishes, including Thai green curry.
Interiors feature drift wood and reclaimed timber for a ‘modern chic’ environment.
Co-owner Pranee Laurillard – Andrew’s wife – believes the success of the brand is due to the freshness of its food, but also to the staff it attracts with its development and career prospects.
“We offer a professional management structure, invest heavily in training and can offer a real prospect of rapid career development as the group expands,” she said.
First UK-wide Thai chain
The latest opening fits into Giggling Squid’s plan to become the UK’s first major Thai chain, as it hopes to reach 50 sites by 2017.
Speaking to BigHospitality in 2012, Andrew revealed being inspired by Cote’s chef-centred business model, and wanting to replicate it for Thai food.