Mitch Tonks sets out Rockfish's expansion plan

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mitch Tonks sets out Rockfish's expansion plan
Mitch Tonks’ seafood restaurant group Rockfish is gearing up for expansion, with three openings planned for the next 18 months.

The company, chaired by Hawksmoor co-founder Will Beckett, is preparing to grow its six-strong estate to sixteen sites over a four-year period, off the back of consistent encouraging sales performance.

Since its inception in 2010, the group has grown to comprise five coastal Rockfish sites and the Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth, and has identified several suitable locations along the South Coast.

The group’s next scheduled opening will be a Rockfish restaurant in Exeter Quays, building work on which has already commenced. Three further locations are already in advanced stages of discussion.

“We have taken the time over the last few years to continue to refine our offer, brand and culture while simultaneously preparing for growth by building our training function, developing our management systems and our pipeline of talented, passionate people,” says Tonks.

“We have stuck to everything we always believed in, sustainable sourcing, local seafood cooked on the day it was landed and strong ethical and community values.”

The Rockfish board includes Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, Novus Leisure chairman John Barnes, and former Young’s Seafood managing director Steve Leadbeater.

The board has been preparing the company for growth following encouraging financial reports showing a 15% like for like growth from May to July, and an overall average return on capital of 43%.

Tonks is a renowned seafood chef and consultant, and this year became an ambassador for the Marine Stewardship Council, a high profile NGO that encourages sustainable fishing practices by certifying fisheries.

His Seahorse restaurant previously won the Observer’s ‘Best UK Restaurant’ award and regularly appears in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants

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