M Restaurants, the two-site London steakhouse and raw bar group from the former director of Gaucho, has reported a 31% year-on-year like-for-like growth in net turnover for December 2015, as well as a rise in bookings, at its first site in London's Threadneedle Street.
The net turnover at the site was £496,000 in December 2015, compared to £339,000 in December 2014.
For the year, net turnover at the £2.5m Threadneedle site was in excess of £3.75m in 2015, with EBITDA over £4.5m. Estimated 2016 turnover for both the Threadneedle Street site and the group's new Victoria Street location was expected to top £8m.
The strong results have been attributed to the company's new policy of allowing guests to "choose a seat" upon booking online. This new system uses drone-style technology to allow customers to walk virtually around the restaurant, and choose a certain table. Regular customers are also often able to reserve their "favourite" spot, the company claims, adding that 9% of bookings were made this way.
The success was also linked to the policy of allowing guests to stay at a table for as long as they like, without imposing a set turn-time limit on sittings, M Restaurants said.
The results come just weeks after the opening of M Victoria, the group's new site on the city's Victoria Street (pictured), which opened on 5 December. Spread over two areas including the M Grill steak house, and the M Raw fish, seafood and sashimi bar, the site also has an M Wine Store selling over 300 restaurant-quality wines and offering its own tapas menu.
M Restaurant was founded by former Gaucho director Martin Williams in 2014, and also has plans to open a third site in the West End in late 2016. Its head chef is Michael Reid, formerly of Michelin-starred establishments Le Gavroche and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
Commenting on the growth news, Williams said: "Diners in London are the most experienced and discerning in the world. I firmly believe that dining should be a relaxing, bespoke experience, which can last as short, or long as the guest wishes. [At M], after you choose your own table, [it] is yours for as long as you wish."