Thai restaurant chain Giggling Squid has announced that it will open its first restaurant inside the M25 in Esher, Surrey, as it also confirmed plans to close its Crawley site.
Esher will be the group's 16th site when it opens in October this year. Following a £100,000 refit, the 120-cover restaurant will create around 20 new jobs when it opens on a town centre corner site.
"Despite the wealthy customer base, we felt the area really lacked for good places to eat," said Pranee Laurillard, who co-owns the restaurant group with her husband, Andrew. She added: "We lived a few miles down the road in Oxshott for a couple of years and usually ended up in Wimbledon when we wanted something decent."
Meanwhile, the group announced that it would close its Crawley site, which was the third restaurant in the estate when it opened in August 2010.
"Crawley was the only site we've had that never really got going and it has always been slightly marginal," said Andrew. "It made more sense for us to focus on the 11 winners and the new sites in the pipeline than invest lots of time trying to keep it above water."
Staff will be deployed elsewhere within the group.
The decision to close Crawley will leave Giggling Squid with 11 sites in Brighton, Hove, Tunbridge Wells, Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-on-Thames, Reigate, Maidstone, Horsham, Sevenoaks, Salisbury and Bristol.
That number is expected to rise with the openings later this year of restaurants in Guildford, Billericay, Bury St Edmunds and Bath. The Esher site will bring the group to 16 sites. A further three are currently conveyancing.
Giggling Squid opened its first restaurant in 2009 in Hove.