London restaurant company Moti Mahal has secured private equity investment of more than £25m and plans to expand its business across the capital.
Moti Mahal, which currently owns one eponymous restaurant in Covent Garden, has been backed by C&C Alpha Group and plans to roll out up to 40 new outlets over the next decade. It is considering buying up individual restaurants and chains, as well as shell units in central London locations.
Sebastian Cheniac, operations director at Moti Mahal, told Caterer the group had developed restaurant and bar formats it hoped to introduce to the London market. "These include a pan-Asian and a French brasserie concept, which if successful could be turned into a chain," he said.
Cheniac revealed that the company hoped to roll out between three and four outlets a year, but admitted that in the current economic downturn it was struggling to expand as quickly as it would have liked.
"The problem is that, under the current financial climate, few vendors are putting their properties up for sale as they fear that there are not enough potential buyers," he said. "So while we have the money in place and are ready to go, we're having difficulty finding the right type of properties."
He added that although a drop in consumer spend was of concern, Moti Mahal planned to set itself apart from its competitors by creating restaurant concepts "that work" and provide a real difference to competitors.
By Kerstin Kühn
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