Giggling Squid speed up expansion plans after investment

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Giggling Squid speed up expansion plans after investment

Related tags: Giggling squid, Thai cuisine

Giggling Squid, the Thai restaurant chain led by Andy Laurillard, is set to accelerate its expansion plans after confirming that the Business Growth Fund (BGF) has taken a significant minority stake in the business and investing £6.4m in the process, which is believed to value the 13­-strong group at c£25m.

According to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Allegra Foodservice​, as part of the deal, Simon Kossoff, co-­founder and chairman of Carluccio’s, becomes the group’s non-­executive chairman, with BGF’s Jon Simon also taking a non-executive director role.

As revealed by M&C in July, the BGF has been in advanced talks to take a stake in the business, which generate revenue in excess of £12m this year and has an average weekly turnover of c£20k per site, since the start of the summer. It is thought to have beaten off interest from the likes of Bowmark Capital and Kings Park Capital to invest in the brand, which Laurillard believes can grow to 50­70 sites within five to seven years, and to eventually double that figure.

Giggling Squid, which Laurillard founded in a previous form with his wife Pranee in 2002, has a further five openings lined up for the next six months. Building works are under way on new restaurants in Bury St Edmunds, Berkhamsted and Warwick, whilst its Esher site will launch next week. The company has also just completed on a site in Farnham.

It said it will use the new capital to add further locations and intends to break new ground and enter London suburbs. A further 1,000 jobs nationally are expected to be created as a result of the company’s expansion over the next four years.

The BGF has already made investments in Barburrito (£3.25m), Camino (c£3m), Peyton & Byrne (£6.25m) and Boost Juice Bars over the last three years.

Andy Laurillard said: “This is a really important step for Giggling Squid as we look to expand our brand across the country. We are now well funded and in a strong position for growth. This is a growing, dynamic company and it is an exciting time for Giggling Squid and for all of our employees. Thai cuisine is an under served segment of the market and we have the opportunity to create a truly national brand providing great Thai food. It’s a good time to be part of that story.

“Ultimately, we remain a food led business and Simon Kossoff’s appointment as chairman is a real coup for us,” said Pranee Laurillard.

“We have massive respect for his achievements at Carluccio’s, a brand we see as having played a central role in redefining the quality customers now expect from high street restaurants. We intend to redefine the quality of Thai dining across the country’s market towns and Simon is a great person to have advising us on delivering this.”

Grant Thornton advised Giggling Squid.

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