Mos Shamel has said that the prospect of Brexit has forced him to “press pause” on plans for further expansion.
Speaking at Commercial Kitchen 2019, the Las Iguanas CEO said that he believed Brexit had caused chaos in the industry and had curtailed his plans for growth.
And although he believes that Las Iguanas has coped better with the chaos than a number of its competitors in the casual dining sector, with the firm posting a record year last year, Shamel claims that he would like to have had 70 stores open by now, as opposed to the 54 that the chain currently operates.
He said: “Definitely Brexit has created that moment of truth where you’re pressing pause.
“It’s not just about finding the right location. You’ve got to think, is enough employment there, are we going to get the quality into the business? When you’re investing a million pounds in a restaurant, you’re starting to think about lots of different things now… so we definitely paused…and I think that’s a fall-out of Brexit.”
The South American food brand recently opened its latest store in Bracknell, is set to open in Watford later this year and last summer opened its first overseas restaurant in Gibraltar.
It employs around 1,800 staff, and last year came 26th in The Sunday Times List of best companies to work for.