The chef and TV personality has announced plans to open at least five new restaurants by 2019 under his eight-strong My Restaurant brand.
This year will see the launch of a huge 8,000 sq ft, 200-cover all-day restaurant in Birmingham, featuring a prosecco bar, deli and ice cream bar, private dining space, games room and ‘posh bowling’.
Restaurants will also open in central London, as well as three currently unconfirmed locations.
It marks a rapid expansion for D’Acampo’s group, which was created in partnership with Individual Restaurants and Piccolino founder Steven Walker in 2015.
D’Acampo also runs the My Pasta Bar chain, which has three sites in the capital.
“We are delighted with our partnership with Gino, as our business goes from strength to strength with turnover now approaching £100m across all brands,” says Walker.
BigHospitality comment: Can D’Acampo avoid Jamie Oliver’s woes?
It’s difficult not to draw comparisons between D’Acampo and his fellow TV chef Jamie Oliver, who launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 off the back of his small-screen notoriety.
A decade later Oliver is closing 12 sites across his restaurant empire after recording losses of £9.9m in 2016, so can D’Acampo succeed where Oliver struggled?
Jamie’s Italian is largely based in the south and east of England, and this is also where the bulk of closures have taken place.
In contrast D’Acampo has focused his expansion in the north, with sites in Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, as well as London’s Euston and Camden.
Both groups offer Italian fare at a similar price point, though there isn’t a burger on the menu at D’Acampo’s sites.
The chef also has a broader pizza menu, with eight varieties ranging from £9.50 - £13.50, while at Jamie’s there is half that number - with the cheapest starting at £11.50.
It’s not just Oliver’s Italian restaurants that are feeling the pinch. Strada closed more than a third of its 26 sites over Christmas, blaming an ‘increasingly competitive market’, while Prezzo has also appointed consultants at specialist turnaround firm AlixPartners to consider the group’s options.