Minhaz Nasir opened his first restaurant in Worthing in 2005 and now operates Lemongrass restaurants in Chichester, Petersfield, Cranleigh, Compton near Guildford, Crawley, Rustington (Littlehampton), Horsham, Burgess Hill, Lewes, Brentwood, a further site in Worthing and now Hove.
Each restaurant has between 55 and 100 covers and generates a profit of around £15,000 a month per site.
The restaurants also operate a separately branded the in-house Japanese concept, Issa Sushi, in Worthing and Lewes. The company has a 140 full-time staff on its payroll.
Expansion until now has largely been funded through reinvesting profits and a bank facility. The family-run group has opened seven restaurant in the last year and is ‘nearing the limit of its own operational capabilities’ and is willing to give up 50% of its equity to an experienced partner that can provide both leadership and investment.
Nasir was born in Bangladesh and honed his culinary skills in Dubai before moving to London to work in Bangkok restaurant in South Kensington.
“The business had proven that it is a scalable concept and it’s time to put in a new management team, update our systems and reengineer the business. The best way forward is to partner with an organisation experienced in larger operational matters, whilst I focus on our core values and the food, acting more as an executive chef,” he says.
Lemongrass is one of a number of fast expanding Thai restaurant groups in the South of England. it competes directly with Giggling Squid in a number of locations including Hove, Horsham and Chichester.