Co-founder Rob Beacham told BigHospitality the ‘value-led’ bistrot brand had set out its plans to open up to 50 sites in the UK after securing £9.8m investment from private equity firm Livingbridge at the end of last year.
Last week, Le Bistrot Pierre’s 16th site opened in Weston-super-Mare. Another three – in Altrincham, Mere Green and Swansea – will open in November, February and April with more currently ‘in legals’.
“The plan going forward is to open six sites per calendar year, so one every two months,” said Beacham.
“Since going into partnership with private equity, we now have a war chest, as it were, to grow a pipeline of six units a year, which is what we can comfortably manage.”
Beacham said the business would be looking at ‘alternative towns to those a lot of restaurant companies are looking at’ such as York and Exeter.
He said the South West and the Midlands, where the business is based, would provide its main focus.
“It makes sense from a management viewpoint to operate clusters of sites as we grow,” he said.
New sites would also open under 'various guises', either a bar bistrot, bistrot with separate bar or standalone bistrot, depending on the location.
"So far this strategy has been very successful. Our product is evolving all the time so this way we can adapt it around the site and to changing consumer demand," said Beacham.
The restaurateur, who launched the company with John Whitehead in 1994, said the secret to Le Bistrot Pierre's 22-year success was its location and value.
He said: "We are a Midlands-originant business and this area and that outside the M25 is less competitive historically than in London and the South East.
"We are value-for-money led and that generates a lot of bums on seats and we haven’t deviated from that core premise from our franchise days. We still do our prix-fixe lunch and pre-fixe pre-theatre menus for example, but have also evolved the menu over time to cater for current trends and consumer requirements."