The new 130-cover restaurant will be located on North Hill and will open on 31 October. Hutton told BigHospitality that his plan is to open more sites quickly if the restaurants continue to do well.
“We have three more sites in the pipeline for next year, with a possible five more in 2016,” he said. “We hope to open 40 or 50 restaurants in the next five to seven years.”
“We also intend to open sites elsewhere in the UK not and not just stick to East Anglia. We’ll start off by looking at sites south of Manchester.
“When we opened our first restaurant we always hoped we’d open more, but the speed at which we’re expanding has come about as a result of how successful they are.”
Site selection and style
The Middletons Steakhouse & Grill restaurants are all similar in design and sit in city centre locations. The other three sites are located in Milton Keynes, King’s Lynn and Norwich.
“When we look for new sites the location is critical,” explained Hutton. “We look for vibrant town centres, though we don’t have to be completely central because Middletons is a destination as well. The property has to be of a decent size, above 4500sq.ft.
“The design is set now, the style of the Colchester restaurant is based on the Milton Keynes site and that’s the design we see as being the way forwards.
“When we refurbish we make sure the restaurants are very well fitted-out, modern and relaxed. We want them to be nice places to sit and eat.”
With Middletons Steakhouse & Grill, Hutton aims to appeal to a number of different demographics with a wide-ranging menu and numerous price categories.
“Our demographic could be anything from an 18-year-old popping in for a burger, to someone in their mid-fifties who wants to splash out on a chateaubriand at £47 a plate,” he explained.
“Our restaurants reflect that. For example, we do a lunchtime special of three courses for £9.95, and then on the other end of the scale we offer dishes like lobster and rib on the bone, so we appeal to lots of different demographics.”
Each Middletons Steakhouse & Grill has the same menu with a range of dishes including steaks and meat from the grill, chicken, fish, lobster, pasta dishes and vegetarian options.
“Our price point makes us unique,” added Hutton. “For the quality of the restaurant the customer sits in, as well as the service we offer and our food, our price point is very reasonable.”