By Jessica Gunn
Michelin-starred chef-restaurateur Paul Heathcote is expanding his culinary empire with the launch of three more Olive Press Pizzeria Bar & Grills.
The new Italian-themed eateries will be in Alderley Edge and Knutsford, in Cheshire, and in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
The 100-seat site in Alderley Edge is scheduled to open in mid-summer, and Knutsford and Clitheroe this autumn.
Heathcote said the current Olive Press outlets, in Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington and Bolton were all performing strongly and he hoped to have 15 to 20 in total.
"I think the Olive Press brand could work anywhere, both in major cities and in parochial towns," he said.
The chef-restaurateur denied rumours that he was considering moving the brand south. "I have no plans to expand beyond the boundaries of Cumbria in the north and Cheshire in the south. There
are enough opportunities here," he added.
Heathcotes Outside, Heathcote's event-catering arm is also performing strongly, with a newly signed contract for Bangor racecourse. Heathcote admitted he was looking for a third racecourse business to add to Chester.
"Heathcotes Outside turned over £9m in the year to February and we hope to push that to £12m in the coming financial year," he added.
Heathcote also revealed he was considering altering his
four Simply Heathcotes restaurants. "We wouldn't want to create a new brand but we are mindful that things have to be refreshed. We could consider transforming them into unbranded, stand-alone operations," he said.