Giggling Squid, the leading UK Thai restaurant group is to accelerate its growth, following a £6.4m investment from Business Growth Fund.
The chain, which has 13 sites across the south of England, will use the BGF funds to add further locations to its portfolio of successful restaurants. BGF confirmed it has taken a “minority equity stake” in the business.
BGF has also introduced Simon Kossoff, chairman and former CEO of Carluccio’s, to the company. He joined the board as non-executive chairman, while Jon Simon, investor at BGF, has also joined the board.
Giggling Squid serves simple, fresh Thai cuisine at lunch and dinner and also offers takeaway services across its restaurants.
Headquartered in Guildford, the business is run by Andy and Pranee Laurillard. They opened the first Giggling Squid in Hove, followed by further restaurants in Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Henley, Reigate and Stratford.
Over the past two years the pace of growth has accelerated, with three openings in 2014 and a further four so far this year, in Bristol, Salisbury, Billericay and Guildford. New restaurants in Bury St Edmunds, Berkhamsted, Warwick and Esher are due to open soon.
Giggling Squid’s expansion to date has been funded through cashflow alongside debt from Barclays. BGF’s £6.4m investment will provide further capital to accelerate the growth plan across the south and nationally.
The business employs around 300 staff across its 13m sites and is expected to generate revenue in excess of £12m this year. A further 1,000 jobs nationally are expected to be created as a result of the company’s expansion over the next four years.