The Honest Burgers group is considering opening sites outside of London as it plans its 11th London location in Peckham Rye for next month.
The group said an opening in Brighton may be a possibility at the end of 2016 to early 2017, while further definite expansion across the capital is also in the pipeline across this year and next.
The news comes as the group plans its next opening, a 45-cover venue at 12-16 Blenheim Grove in Peckham Rye, on the sites of former Indian restaurant Muana and former printers AJ Printz. As well as offering the group's usual simple burger menu, the new location will be one of four Honest Burgers to offer the brunch option, along with Clapham, Tooting, and Liverpool Street.
Speaking to The Caterer today, co-founder and brand director Tom Barton (with business partner and operations director Phil Eeles, who both run the group with managing director Dorian Waite), said: "We love Brighton, we love the area. I went to university down there, and me and Phil worked in a restaurant down there. We don't have anything concrete yet, but we'd love to give it a go."
This overall expansion drive will be funded by the group's £7m investment from private equity firm Active Private Investment, which was secured in January with a view to opening five new sites in the next 12 months. Although expansion has been delayed slightly, the plan is still to continue opening new sites using this same funding, with particular focus on East London.
Old Street in east London is the newest Honest Burgers site, having opened in October this year. Peckham will be the group's fourth south London location after its original opening in Brixton in 2011, alongside Tooting and Clapham. he group also has operations in Soho, Camden, Portobello Road, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, and Oxford Circus.
Commenting on the imminent opening, Barton added: "It's been good. It's an old Art Deco building, under the arches of Peckham Rye. We're sympathetically restoring it, and keeping it pretty basic. We love the area."
Speaking about the group's expansion plans as a whole, he said: "We're flexible as to where we open; we don't feel that we need to be that strategic geographically. We just find a site we like and give it a go. The area is important to us though as we don't want to alienate anyone. We've got some really interesting sites coming up, and have plans for next year."