The company, which launched in 2004 and now has more than 80 sites across the UK and Ireland, has secured a £2m debt facility from Metro Bank to fund its growth.
The Asian restaurant chain will use the capital to open restaurants across the UK under its three location models – shopping centre, high street and transport hubs.
“We have got significant firepower now to go out and accelerate our growth,” says Jon Lake, Chopstix managing director.
“We have got about 10 sites in the pipeline, which we would hope to open over the next 12 months or so. The facility will be used for that, and probably to secure a few more beyond as well.”
The new openings – five of which are expected to open before the end of the year – will principally be under the Chopstix brand, but one of two will open under the Yangtze concept. Its next site is due to open in four to six weeks.
Chopstix recently opened a new Yangtze site in Bluewater, Kent; its first to open under the Yangtze brand since the group acquired the nine-strong business in November last year, for an undisclosed sum.
On new sites Lake says that it is looking at a blend across the three models, but that “around half the sites we are looking at are self-contained high street units”.
He says company performance had held up well despite the continued hot weather, and that the continuation of its refurbishment programme was “getting some great results, both in terms of like-for-like sales uplift and return on capital, so that has been really encouraging”.
The company is due to carry out another two to three refurbishments before the end of the year including Chopstix in Cardiff and Yangtze in Meadowhall in Sheffield.
The group recently introduced katsu curry across its estate as well as another three or four new dishes, including some new proteins.
“People like the simplicity of what we do, so we are seeking to retain that while also trying to give people a bit more choice,” says Lake.
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