Former investment banker Dev Shah opened Zucla on London’s Fleet Street in January, serving a selection of freshly-made dishes – from noodles and curries, to salads and juices - for lunch.
With the first site proving a success in its first few months, Shah started plans to open a second in London, launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £90k on Crowdcube. The campaign closed last month with 143 investors pledging £248,330.
“Now we have the funding we can move forward with our plans. I’m looking at a similar location to our first site, somewhere around Liverpool Street or Bank,” Shah told BigHospitality.
He said he was looking specifically for areas with a high percentage of office workers and with more visibility than its basement Fleet Street site. He is also considering a further rollout of the brand.
“Our overall vision is to open eight sites in the next three years with a focus on sites in London where there is a lot of potential for trade from office workers,” he said.
“It sounds ambitious, but I think that at the current pace we are going at it’s achievable.”
Shah said he’d seen a gap in the market for a concept offering diners more choice at lunchtime.
At Zucla a team of chefs make dishes fresh on-site with many options for customisation. Dishes range from £5.50 to £6.25.
“I started this and a lot of people thought it wouldn’t work, because we are offering a lot of variety, whereas the trend has been for operators to focus on one type of dish,” he said.
“What we’ve found though is that because we have the variety we have a high number of customers returning twice a week, with a select number even coming in five days a week.”
Shah, who runs the business with wife Meera, said he is planning to launch a breakfast offer at his second site to include coffee for £1 and customisable breakfast dishes.