Restaurant investor snaps up industry’s largest discount card businesses

Tastecard

The investment firm that backs the likes of Pret A Manger, Ask Italian and Zizzi has furthered its association with the hospitality sector by acquiring Tastecard and Gourmet Society, the UK’s two largest restaurant discount card clubs.

Bridgepoint Development Capital said that it paid DIDIX, a Dutch gift card group, an undisclosed sum for the two businesses.

Tastecard and Gourmet Society dining clubs collectively offer discounts to members at more than 10,000 restaurants across the UK for an annual membership fee. Offers are available through the brands’ websites and apps, in conjunction with a physical or digital membership card.

Founded by Matt Turner in 2005, Tastecard ranks as the UK’s largest diners’ club with over three million members. It works with some of the nation’s most popular chains, as well as over 6,000 independent restaurants. The Gourmet Society has over one million members in the UK.

Turner said: “We have built a strong business over the last decade which has drawn interest from a number of potential investment partners. Bridgepoint’s reputation, belief in the business and track record with consumer brands convinced us that they are the right partner to support us through the next exciting phase of our growth.”

Total UK consumer spend on eating out was £78 billion in 2014 and while research suggests that regular diners eat out on average 34 times a year, discount card users eat out around 45 times a year.

Alan Payne, Partner of Bridgepoint Development Capital, commented: “Discounted dining is now an established feature of the growing eating out market, a sector that is being increasingly driven by the technology needs of the consumer. With our support, we are confident that tastecard and the Gourmet Society will grow their member and restaurant numbers, broaden their geographic coverage and extend their technological capability.”

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