Mexican restaurant group Benito’s Hat has secured a £1m investment to expand in London and across the UK.
The funding comes entirely from the eight-strong brand’s existing investors, with the majority provided by private equity firm Calculus Capital.
It follows a trial of a smaller A1-focused restaurant format, which has launched in Oxford Westgate and Leicester Highcross shopping centres over the last nine months.
The company says the concept has opened up “growth opportunities” in locations that were previously too small for Benito’s Hat to trade in, such as travel hubs.
It says it sees potential to expand the brand through franchising in the UK and overseas.
Benito’s Hat is also negotiating on a seventh London site and a restaurant in the Home Counties.
“Because of the challenging nature of the casual dining market, we’ve ensured that we can continue to grow by focusing on smaller footprint opportunities with our new model,” says Michael Pearson, managing director of Benito’s Hat.
“Benito’s is now ten years old and we feel that now is the right time to grow, both through our own high street stores in the UK, and franchised stores.”
Benito’s Hat was created by Ben Fordham and Mexican chef Felipe Fuentes Cruz and opened its first restaurant in London’s Goodge Street in 2008.
A number of other restaurant brands, including Spuntino, BrewDog and Barburrito, have announced plans to expand in to airports this year amid rising costs on the high street.
Source: Big Hospitality