A gourmet wrap chain’s investment in a fully automated production kitchen complete with high-end foodservice equipment has led to it dramatically slashing its operating costs.
Stratford-based Wrap It Up! claims to have cut its £280,000 salary bill in half since moving to a new central production site this year as the equipment it now uses can produce fillings for its wraps significantly quicker and in greater volumes than the previous methods it used.
The company has spent £800,000 equipping the facility with what it believes is the most reliable and robust kit around, specifying brands such as Frima, Rational, Foster and Viessmann for the purpose-built facility.
Investment decisions around new equipment have all been taken with long-term expansion plans in mind, according to managing director, Tayub Mushtaq.
He told FEJ: “We don’t want to get to year three and realise we don’t have enough cooking capacity and then have to redesign or try to do things to accommodate growth. Right now we can go from our current turnover of £5m to £50m with no further CAPEX. That is the biggest advantage of this facility.”
While Wrap It Up! it has predominantly been focused on the London market, where stores receive daily food deliveries, the reaction to the opening of its first store in Manchester suggests the model is scalable nationwide.
“We send out deliveries to Manchester on Sunday and Wednesday evenings for three days ahead and there is storage there to refrigerate it. The food is vacuum packed and we have not had a single issue since we opened the store, which gives us the blueprint to be able to open other sites out of London,” says Mushtaq.
“We are opening in Liverpool, Leeds, we have got another one planned for Manchester and we are looking at venturing out into Scotland. In the next three to five years our plan is to get up to 50 to 60 stores, which will be a mixture of 50% company owned and 50% franchise. Franchising for us is a great model. It is cost effective, we get to open sites and they are managed properly by franchise owners who obviously own the business and therefore treat them like their own. All our franchises are profitable and are now opening their second or third sites, which is brilliant.”