Temptations café kicks off large-scale expansion plans

By Melodie Michel contact

- Last updated on GMT

Temptations offers sandwiches and salads freshly made on site
Temptations offers sandwiches and salads freshly made on site
Temptations, which already has two cafés in London, plans to open 20 more sites in the capital over the next five years, BigHospitality has learnt.

The brand hopes to fund the next four openings by crowdfunding up to 20 per cent of equity through Crowdcube, after which the business should generate enough revenue to fund further expansion.

“We’ve had some early conversations with Crowdcube, and we are now working on our proposal to go live on the website in January.

“We will pitch at £600K, which will help us open the next two shops, and then we will take any oversubscriptions up to £1.2m. If we only raise £600K we will seek a second round once we’ve opened the next two shops, for a further £600K – and then that sees us through to opening the next 20 sites,” owner Graham Harris told BigHospitality.

He explained that the next 20 sites would be in London, but that the business had potential to expand across other major UK cities.

Fresh offering

The brand, which focuses on lunch time trade with sandwiches, salads, daily hot dishes such as curries and stews, as well as burritos, opened its first shop in Highbury and Islington about three years ago.

That was followed by a second opening in Clerkenwell in November 2013, for which the founders made an equity offer to friends and family under the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Harris believes Temptations differentiates itself through its focus on fresh food prepared on site at the Clerkenwell shop: “We cook all our hot dishes on site every day and we marinade our own meat, and cook it from fresh, too.  All of the meat in our sandwiches and salads is cooked by us in our kitchen downstairs.”

The venue’s tables have also been fitted with air chargers, allowing customers to wirelessly charge their smart phones while they eat lunch or drink their coffee.

Pop-up support

Temptations supports other growing businesses by letting chefs use its shops for pop-ups and supper clubs in the evenings.

“We’re advertised on two pop-up websites. We tried to do it in the past on our own, so we got supper clubs with a set menu up in Highbury.

“It’s something we’ve be looking at doing across all the sites but it’s more likely that Clerkenwell will be our most popular site at the moment because it’s got a kitchen,” Harris added.

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