Delivering financial results for the year ending 31 March for 12-strong Italian restaurant group Gusto, Sue Crimes, Gusto CEO said the company plans to open at least four restaurants next year with openings already scheduled in Lytham St Annes, Leamington Spa and Birmingham.
She said the company, which completed its management buy-out (MBO) in April 2014 with Palatine Private Equity acquiring a 69.51 per cent stake had already opened two restaurants this year - a second in Glasgow and its first in Leeds - as part of ambitious expansion plans.
“Since completion of the MBO, Gusto has continued to go from strength to strength. We have grown our portfolio of outstanding restaurants moving into new and exciting cities across the country," said Crimes.
“Gusto is an exceptional brand synonymous with premium dining and high-quality service set in stylish locations. This is an exciting time for the Company and together with Palatine and Living Ventures we have substantial funding and capability to successfully expand and achieve our target portfolio of 26 restaurants in the next four to five years."
Overall sales at Gusto, excluding discontinuing operations, increased 22 per cent to £18.2m with like-for-like sales growing 6.9 per cent.
Living Ventures managing director Paul Moran is also planning expansion of the casual dining restaurant and bar brand Artisan next year following the success of its first site. The brand, which opened a flagship restaurant in Manchester's Spinningfields in December 2014, already has a site lined up in Glasgow, according to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Allegra.
The 250-cover restaurant, which added a second private dining room for 30 in November, experienced double digit revenue growth in the year ending 31 March 2015 to £3.7m and grew EBITDA by 152 per cent to £452,429.
“Artisan continues to go from strength to strength and remains one of the most popular restaurants in our Manchester portfolio," said Moran. "The extensions to our private dining capability in response to huge demand for our existing facilities show how flexible the business is across the corporate and leisure markets and we are actively looking for other city centre opportunities to expand the brand."