Bakery chain PAUL has revealed plans to open another seven bakeries over the next 12 months.
The company is on the verge of launching a second site in Birmingham this month, continuing a period of expansion for the firm.
This year has already seen PAUL open a second restaurant at Tower 42 in the City and four bakeries at London’s Three Quays and Marble Arch, as well as in Birmingham and Newbury.
PAUL recently announced record financial results for the year ended 31 December 2014. Highlights included revenue up 14% on a like-for-like basis, and group turnover was £25m, up almost 4% on the 2013 figure of £24m.
News of its growth comes as the 34-strong chain confirmed that it has increased the starting hourly rate for staff to £7.20 per hour in advance of the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage next April. Team members can earn up to £8.90 per hour, reaching £9.60 per hour for supervisors.
Jean Michel Orieux, CEO of PAUL UK, said: “We see the introduction of this increase as extremely positive and are pleased to be one of the first companies in the UK to adopt it. Anything that encourages people to take up a career in the hospitality industry can only be a good thing. By paying the April rate ahead of many other hospitality businesses, we are showing our commitment to our existing employees and are confident this will attract new people to the business.”