The company has collaborated with fried chicken-focused brand Sides, which leverages The Sidemen’s 26 million followers, and now operates at location in Boxpark Wembley, as well as 18 delivery-only sites in and outside London. These include Tower Hamlets, Woolwich, Canary Wharf, Wandsworth, as Slough, Manchester, Leeds and Watford.
The brand also has a presence in the Middle East and across 50 states in the US.
US YouTuber MrBeast has opened 900 locations across the US, and 80 locations in London with Reef.
The company has also partnered with DJ Khaled and has a commitment with Wendy’s to open 700 kitchens.
Speaking at last month’s Hostech conference, organised by MCA ad BigHospitality, Chris Sargeant, Reef VP Kitchens Europe, spoke about how influencers with a close connection with their audience helped keep the offering relevant.
“It has to be relevant to that particular market. We want people who are top of their game,” he said.
“This is a hot space, and getting it right is the important bit. It’s not just about brand positioning, it’s making sure you can operate it well.”
Sargeant shrugged off the idea that attaching an F&B brand to influencers could be risky, pointing to the fact The Sideman sold out a range of vodka in a minute.
“With Sidemen, they’re very active individually, they’re top draw influencers. It keeps a tune on your operations. If they mess up, of course the brand’s at risk.
“They know what they’re doing, they’re super in tune with their customers, they’re very relevant.
“We have to make sure we’re very relevant as in industry as well, and these guys can keep us in check.”
Reef has two kitchen models: ‘operate’, where it takes partner brands and operates them essentially like a franchisee, and ‘license’, where it puts a virtual brand it into other operators’ kitchens with its support.
“It’s an end-to-end solution so when people come into the Reef ecosystem, we can manage everything through the whole of the system,” Sargeant added. “We’re tech enabled.”