D&D London outlines international push

12 May 2009 by
D&D London outlines international push

Restaurant group D&D London plans to significantly grow its overseas business over the next decade, Caterersearch can reveal.

Formerly Conran Restaurants, the company, which is headed up by Des Gunewardena and David Loewie, plans to expand its business with restaurants in South-east Asia as well as the Middle East over the coming years.

D&D London has signed a joint-venture agreement with a Malaysian partner and will open its first restaurant in the area in Kuala Lumpur next spring. Further sites are planned for Singapore and Thailand.

Speaking to Caterersearch, Gunewardena, D&D's chairman and chief executive officer, said: "The aim is to have a business of up to 10 restaurants in South-east Asia within the next six to seven years generating turnover of around $50m (£33m) a year."

D&D London currently has ventures in Paris, Copenhagen, New York and Tokyo, with 75% of the group's outlets located in the UK.

Gunewardena said this balance is likely to shift over the next decade and added the company was also looking to enter the Middle East within the next five years.

"However, we'd be looking at having a sizeable business there rather than just a one-off restaurant in Dubai or Abu Dhabi," he said. "The same applies to markets like India and China, which we would only enter to launch a group of restaurants."

In the UK, D&D London is currently in discussions to launch a hotel in the City of London. It will also open its first venture outside of the capital in Birmingham in autumn 2010, which is likely to comprise three individual restaurants atop the city's Cube building.

"We are also considering three projects in central London and haven't stopped looking at further expanding in the capital," Gunewardena added.

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By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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