Giggling Squid, the operator of 32 Thai restaurants predominantly situated in provincial towns and cities in the South of England, has vowed to carry on expanding after ramping up new openings since the turn of the year.
In the 12 months to April 2019 (inclusive), the group has opened eight Thai restaurants in locations such as Chichester, Cheltenham, Windsor, Kingston upon Thames, Bishops Stortford and Harpenden.
Most recently, two new restaurants opened in Oxford and Chislehurst last month, both of which are trading well and to expectations.
Founded in 2002, Giggling Squid has a proven roll-out strategy successfully bringing its simple yet authentic, high quality Thai cuisine to an increasing number of new locations and a growing loyal customer base.
The pipeline for new sites into 2019/20 is strong as Giggling Squid looks to open between six to 10 new restaurants each year as well as embarking on a refurbishment programme of its more mature restaurants.
Predominantly situated in provincial towns and cities in the Home Counties and South of England, the Group is now expanding its geographic footprint further into the Midlands and within the M25, building on its success to date in locations such as Stratford, Warwick, Esher, Wimbledon Village and Kingston.
Furthermore, the brand has also proven its credentials in cities such as Brighton Norwich, Bristol (Clifton) and Bath.
A new site has just been signed in Leamington Spa, subject to planning, which is due to open in the Autumn of 2019.
Typically located in character, quirky or listed buildings, management takes a highly selective approach to site selection.
As one of the few restaurant operators rolling out currently, the group benefits from being offered a significant number of attractive new site opportunities, often taking existing restaurant units which have previously been run by other operators (the new Leamington Spa site is a former Cau restaurant, for example), as well as new-build and conversion opportunities.
The group plans to open another four restaurants this financial year. Each restaurant creates around 30 new jobs, totalling 150 new jobs this financial year and the Group is the Thai employer of choice in the UK.
Andy Laurillard, managing director and co-founder of Giggling Squid, commented: “Our new openings are performing well and our proven roll-out model and success to date underpins the opportunity we have to extend the brand’s presence further beyond our Southern heartland, bringing the Giggling Squid experience to new locations. We have exciting plans ahead with a strong pipeline of new sites, as well as the infrastructure in place to support a significantly larger business, as we progress our measured expansion and growth ambitions.”