Tasty Plc, the owner of the Wildwood and Dim t restaurant brands, will invest in its central kitchen infrastructure after revealing plans to accelerate its expansion in 2016.
The group currently operates 50 restaurants — seven Dim ts and 43 Wildwoods and Wildwood Kitchens — but has at least another 15 in the pipeline.
And CEO Jonny Plant said that as the group scales, it needs to make sure that it has the cooking platforms to support its growth.
“To ensure that we retain our high level of food quality and consistency we will be investing in Tasty’s Central Kitchen’s infrastructure,” he said.
Tasty has two sites under construction at the moment, while the rest are at various stages of completion and negotiation.
Over the past year it has opened 12 Wildwood and Wildwood Kitchen restaurants and one Dim t, increasing the size of the estate by almost 40%. The new launches helped the business generate pre-tax profits of £3m on turnover up 20% to £35.8m.
Plant said the rate of development will accelerate in the medium term and confirmed that Wildwood will remain the core focus of the expansion. “The ‘all day’ appeal of these brands has been improved by the development of a delicatessen which has driven additional morning and mid-afternoon trade,” he said.
“Our sites are primarily based on the high street. However, we have a number of leisure, retail and tourist locations which all trade well, highlighting the broad appeal and scalability of the offering. Continued expansion across all of these location types are planned in the coming year.”
A review of the Dim t brand, meanwhile, has identified mixed retail and leisure developments as a key area of expansion.
In November the group opened a Dim t site in Fareham, alongside a Wildwood, the first time it has operated these two brands in the same location. “Both sites are trading above expectations and pave the way for similar future openings if the opportunity should arise,” said Plant.
He added: “We are now preparing for an acceleration in the roll-out programme with the appointment of David Street as property director and a number of key business functions will be expanded and strengthened to facilitate this more rapid growth. The business is at an exciting stage and is well-positioned to expand. 2016 will be a year of growth and investment as we lay the foundations for the future.”
Last year, Tasty Plc increased its banking facility to £8m, up from £4m previously. As of the end of 2015, it had drawn £5.75m of the available facility.