Smokehouse restaurant group Red's True Barbecue has secured a £5m debt funding and equity investment to help accelerate its expansion.
The company, which won the Newcomer Award at the 2014 Cateys, was founded in 2012 in Leeds by Scott Munro and James Douglas.
Having recently announced plans to open its first site in London, in Shoreditch, the group has now recruited a group of well-known executives from the restaurant sector to help oversee its growth.
The group includes industry veteran Ian Neill, Jamie Barber (Cabana), Stephen Wall (Pho), Brandon Stephens (Tortilla), Maurice Abboudi (K10), Dom Lake (Canteen), and retail entrepreneurs Aarish Patel and Sunny Gill. Debt funding is provided by Santander UK.
Ian Neill added: "I was hugely impressed by the vibrancy, food quality and high energy experience of Red's. James and Scott have tapped into the source code of great BBQ and I am delighted to be able to help fund Red's significant development potential. As they say, let there be meat!"
Both Stephen Wall and Aarish Patel are appointed to the board as non-executive directors, joining Brandon Stephens who was made non-executive chairman earlier this year.
Red's has also recently strengthened its management team with the appointments of Matt Snell as operations director, joining from Fuller's, and Craig Bell as finance director, previously FD at AIM listed Premium Bars and Restaurants and latterly FD at Bar and Restaurant operator Ladhar Leisure.
Munro said: "This deal will guide us into early next year where we plan to re-look at our options. Our focus remains to open 20 sites within five years. With the team and investors in place we're firmly on track to become the UK's largest smokehouse group, and the go-to brand for authentic barbecue in the UK."