Chef Gary Usher, the owner of Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle and soon-to-open Hispi Bistro, is to offer four key members of his team a stake in the business.
Sticky Walnut general manager Adam Tomlinson and head chef Luke Richardson, along with Burnt Truffle's general manager Emma Underwood and head chef Michael Wong, also known as "Wongo", have been offered share options in the parent company and an opportunity to join Usher as shareholders in the business. All four members of the team have worked with Usher for about three years.
Usher told The Caterer: "It's a thank you because they deserve it, and I have asked them to join me as shareholders with the intention of rolling out a few Stickies over a five-year plan.
"Their response has been incredible and they all said they already believed in the restaurants. We are all very excited by the prospect of some new challenges. They all felt that making Hispi a profitable business right from the start would be a fantastic opportunity to work out the perfect model for our future bistros."
He added: "Burnt Truffle was making money after three months of trading and has continued to show great profit. Hispi Bistro will hopefully be even better and something we can truly replicate."
Last month, Usher, who raised £58,650 as part of his crowdfunding campaign for his third site, acquired the Jem & I restaurant in Didsbury. In addition to the funds raised by crowdfunding, his bank has agreed to support Hispi Bistro with an additional £100,000 of funding. Hispi Bistro is due to open in August.
Usher, the winner of the Menu of the Year Catey award in 2013, owns the 40-cover Sticky Walnut in Chester, which opened in 2011, and 100-cover Burnt Truffle in Heswall, Wirral. He raised £100,000 through crowdfunding to launch Burnt Truffle in 2015.
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