Mexican dining chain Barburrito plans to triple its number of restaurants and target the London market, after it managed to attract £3.25m in new investment.
The North-west business, founded in 2005 by Manchester-based entrepreneurs, Morgan Davies and Paul Kilpatrick, will receive the equity investment from private investor, Business Growth Fund (BGF).
Barburrito has six sites in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds and employs more than 100 people but hopes to use the investment to propel it to 18 sites over the next four years, with the bulk of the new restaurants in London. The company said it expected to create 250 new jobs as part of the move.
Net revenues at the firm for the full year to 2012 hit £4m and like-for-like net sales are up 20% on last year. Meanwhile, burritos bars are expected to be the growth sector of the industry over the next three years.
Following BGF's investment, Colin Hughes will join the board as a non-executive director. Hughes was previously on the boards of Pret a Manger and EAT, where he was involved in rolling out 100 new sites. Barburrito already has Richard O Sullivan, the co-founder of Millie's Cookies, as non-executive chairman, since he got involved in growing the firm in 2009.
Morgan Davies, joint MD and founder of Barburrito, said: "We have made great progress since starting as a single site in 2005. In the last two years we have opened three new stores and doubled the size of the business. We believe that the time is right to roll out our award-winning formula to a national customer base and we knew that we needed additional funding to achieve this."
Paul Kilpatrick, joint MD and founder of Barburrito, added: "BGF's investment will allow us to expand into the London market and create approximately 250 new jobs. We are actively looking for high-density locations, populated by office workers, shoppers, tourists and students with a busy lunch and some weekend trade."
The business will be assisted by Ward Griffiths Associates to identify and select sites for the expansion programme.
By Neil Gerrard
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