Hakkasan plans 15 restaurants and hotel in the UK

By Ruth Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Price

Hakkasan has unveiled plans to open 15 restaurants and a hotel in the UK
Hakkasan has unveiled plans to open 15 restaurants and a hotel in the UK
International hospitality group Hakkasan is looking to more than double its estate in 2015 with the opening of 15 new restaurants across its portfolio of brands, including a new concept called Ling Ling.

According to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Report,​ the group is planning openings in Europe, the US, and with a focus on south east Asia.

President of the Hakkasan Group, Nick McCabe told M&C Report that the new sites will be a mixture of the whole portfolio of restaurants that includes the flagship premium brand Hakkasan, Yauatcha, HKK, Sake no Hana, Herringbone, Searsucker and Social House.

Having acquired Enlightened Hospitality Group in 2014 it has majority ownership of the company which includes Herringbone and Searsucker that is introducing to the UK next year.

It is looking across Fulham, Chelsea and Notting Hill for suitable London locations, McCabe said the first site has been identified for Herringbone to open next year and a Searsucker is planned for 2016 or 2017.

These restaurants offer American home comfort-style cuisine, which the group believes will flourish in the current UK dining out scene. There are four Searsuckers across America and two Herringbones.

Ling Ling

Meanwhile, McCabe said the company is developing a new concept called Ling Ling in order to diversify the portfolio and appeal to a wider demographic than the flagship brand alone. McCabe said the group recognises the need to introduce different concepts into cities that would not be able to support a premium offering.

“Hakkasan is our Trojan Horse – it’s the brand that opens doors – but it’s important to introduce offerings at different price points so we don’t get pigeon-holed.”

He said Ling Ling would retain the quality and level of attention to detail but at a lower price point to make it more accessible to diners.

The Hakkasan Group has received “a lot of interest” from hotel groups around the world wanting to add a Hakkasan restaurant to their hotels that may not have the right demographic to support the brand so Ling Ling is being developed to meet this need in locations that may only have a seasonal audience.

“We developed Ling Ling as a beverage-led brand that we will roll-out to a number of cities this year and next in places that have shown interest in the brand but Hakkasan would not fit. We call it Hakkasan’s naughty little sister.”

In the UK, the group is opening a second Yauatcha restaurant, the Michelin-starred concept, at London’s Broadgate Circle to open in May.

“When we stepped in we saw Yauatcha as a hidden gem as it doesn’t have much brand exposure outside of London.”

He described Yauatcha as a more accessible brand than the core “occasion” restaurant.

The second site will prepare the group for more international growth of the Yauatcha brand: “We really do believe in it – the concept works and it will work well in any major city.”

The new site at Broadgate site is on the first floor overlooking the Circle site, it features an open terrace on both ends of the restaurant with large bars, which McCabe feels is an important feature for Yauatcha as it has a really strong bar component.

This seemingly rapid expansion has been planned by The Hakkasan Group for a number of years; the company spent last year building up its team and implementing structural changes to enable the phase of growth.

“Opening 15 restaurants is slightly crazy to say the least,” McCabe said. “We have an aggressive plan in front of us but the type of growth may change.”

He said that following this year the group may focus on developing its hotel portfolio which would mean growth “will continue in an aggressive manner but the volume of sites may slow”.

The company is looking to open a hotel with a Hakkasan branded restaurant at the Palm in Dubai by the end of 2017 as well as searching for its first location for an MGM Grand and hotel in London and is scouting locations in Mayfair, Soho and Knightsbridge for this.

This article was first published by M&C Report. To subscribe email rzvyl.pebsg@jeoz.pbz​.

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