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Ex-PizzaExpress duo invest in Giraffe

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Entrepreneur Luke Johnson and ex-PizzaExpress chief executive Ian Eldridge have taken a “significant minority stake” in London-based restaurant chain Giraffe, with the aim of doubling the size of the business within three years.

The chain has seven restaurants in London and an eighth set to open in Muswell Hill, north London, in April.

Johnson will become non-executive chairman and Eldridge non-executive director. The money is being injected through their private investment vehicle, Risk Capital Partners.

Johnson said: “Giraffe is an excellent all-day dining concept, offering good food and great service in a family friendly environment.

“We firmly believe this concept will work outside its current heartland of central and south-west London.”

Giraffe was founded in 1998 by managing director Russel Joffe, Juliette Joffe and Andrew Jacobs.

The company would not disclose how much Johnson and Eldridge were investing, but Juliette Joffe claimed newspaper reports estimating the amount at £2m-£3m were wide of the mark.

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