Alex and Saiphin Moore plan to get the Ceviche group "rocking again" after purchasing the Peruvian restaurants in an eleventh hour, management-led, buy-out.
The founders of Rosa's Thai Café, a majority stake of which was sold to Trispan last year, plan to rally the group behind its Andina concept, which they feel has great potential for expansion.
Alex told The Caterer: "I would love to grow it again. We need to get all the financial disciplines in place that were sorely lacking and support it again to grow.
"We don't want to turn it into 90,000 sites all over the world, we just want to move it on again and increase its size by two three times, I'd be really happy about that.
"First of all, we will really look at how the head office is run and the financial discipline, that's what needs changing, the customer service doesn't, the portion size doesn't, the excellent food coming out of the kitchen doesn't."
The Ceviche group includes the original Ceviche site on Frith Street in London's Soho, Andina in Shoreditch and Casita Andina on Great Windmill Street, also Soho. Ceviche Old Street, Ceviche Notting Hill and Andina bakery, also in Notting Hill, closed last month.
Alex added: "We defiantly think the Andina brand is the one we're going to rally behind, probably the original Ceviche will stay but it's probably the only one we're going to have. I think Andina is where we see the potential, it's got Peruvian soul, a more South American flavour, that's the real superstar, the real jewel in the crown.
"We're going to leave it alone for a little while, see how it all works, tweak what needs to be tweaked and then grow the business again when all the numbers are being hit and we have that offering nailed. We won't expand for the sake of expansion, we've got to get it right."
The business was founded by Martin Morales, who will remain an ambassador, and Alex said the culture he created is what appealed to the couple.
"I really like the soul behind this business, it's got a lot of soul Martin Morales did a great job in doing that. At its core there's substance, something we can really breathe some life into and get this thing rocking again," he explained.
Managing director Raquel de Oliveira, who has worked with the group since 2011 when the first site was opened, has become a shareholder in the business through the deal and will continue leading the group day-to-day in her role with the Moore's support. Group head chef Daniel Ribeiro and group operations manager Alessio Bascherini will also remain in their roles. Staff from the closed sites were offered alternative roles within the business as part of the buy-out terms and 88 jobs were secured with no compulsory redundancies.
Morales added: "It's with a heavy heart that I step away from the business I created and love dearly, but know I am leaving it in Raquel's very capable hands. She's been with me on this journey from day one, and has so much passion for both Ceviche and Andina brands."
The Moore's have temporarily closed their latest venture Hoh Sek Noodles in St Katherine Docks to focus on the Ceviche business, having opened the site earlier this year.
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