Restaurant group Red’s True Barbecue has secured a £9m investment deal, as it aims to open 8-10 more smokehouses over the next two years.
The deal is the second such investment this year, after Red’s secured £5m in May and subsequently opened a site in Liverpool – its sixth overall – in November this year.
The new investment is a majority debt arrangement with bank Santander, which also comprises a secondary round of equity investment from its original panel of industry leaders, including veteran restaurateur Ian Neill, Maurice Abboudi (K10), non-exec board members Brandon Stephens (Tortilla), Stephen Wall (Pho) and Aarish Patel, and retail entrepreneur Sunny Gill.
The company has declined to reveal how much equity it is giving away in return for the investment.
Scott Munro, co-founder of Red’s True Barbecue, said: “The UK’s prayers for more places to worship authentic US barbecue has been answered! As BBQ evangelists we’re delighted the appetite for this food trend is still as hungry as it was when we opened our first site in Leeds in 2012.
“Santander has been a great partner and this is a chance for us to forge a solid relationship as we move forward. We’re stoked our original equity investors have shown commitment once again, and demonstrates the strength of the Red’s business. Their wealth of experience is invaluable and has provided great insight and guidance this year.
“The pipeline for 2016 is already shored up with four fantastic sites in legals allowing us to spread the good gospel of true barbecue to around 100,000 believers each month, and positioning us as clear brand leaders in the sector.”
Munro launched Red’s alongside fellow co-founder James Douglas in 2012 with the opening of their Leeds restaurant. In addition to this and its Liverpool site, the business now also has venues in Headingley, Shoreditch in London, Nottingham and Manchester.
Earlier this year the company launched its own range of BBQ sauces and rubs nationwide into Asda and Sainsbury’s whilst its debut recipe book, Let There Be Meat, was a Sunday Times Best Seller.
The business was recently shortlisted as Ones To Watch by the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 programme, having grown sales to £7.1m in 2014.
Addleshaw Goddard and Bond Dickinson performed the legal work on the debt facility for Red’s and Santander respectively and Due Dilligence was conducted by KPMG in Leeds.