Founders Alun and Dawn Sperring are hoping to raise £700,000 on Growthdeck to fund the rollout and are close to securing a second site in an as-yet undisclosed market town.
23% of the company’s equity is being offered. So far £201,000 has been raised, some 28% of the total target.
“Dawn and I have been working on this for a long time. We’ve had a lot of conversations with investors but they wanted too much of the business and wanted us to grow very quickly,” says CEO Alun Sperring. “This deal gives us control and we don’t need to dilute what we do."
The single site operation currently turns over in excess of £2.2m, a very high figure for a provincial restaurant. Kevin Bacon, Growthdeck sector expert and former managing director of Jamie Oliver International, is to join the board as non-executive chairman, working alongside the Sperrings and group financial controller Nimit Thakar.
The team are considering "affluent market towns" including Tunbridge Wells, Worthing, Winchester and Hastings for the three remaining locations. “We don’t need to go to Soho to make our name, we’ve done that here,” says Sperring. “There are a lot of opportunities outside London and the entry costs are much lower. Unless you’re very lucky the rents and rates in London are going to be huge. With that said we certainly would not rule out opening in the capital at some point.”
The new sites will offer a broadly similar menu to the original restaurant, which made its name with authentic, regional Indian dishes. Main courses cost between £13 and £15, resulting in an average customer spend of £29 dinner, £17 lunch and £15 takeaway.
The original 115-cover Brighton restaurant will act as an academy for new managers and chefs. In addition to the planned new restaurants, the pair are collaborating with Deliveroo at its upcoming Roobox unit in Hove to expand its successful thali delivery service, which currently turns over in excess of £300,000 a year.
The Chilli Pickle is a regular on Restaurant magazine’s National Restaurant Awards list of the top 100 restaurants in the UK. It has also held a Michelin Bib Gourmand for eight years and has won Best Delivery Service at the British Curry Awards three years running.