A Yorkshire Thai restaurant group is opening two new sites after securing investment finance.
Chaophraya, with restaurants in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow, has secured £2.4m of growth capital to open a new restaurant in Edinburgh and expand their Leeds site. The investment has come from Santander’s Growth Capital, and will create up to 60 new jobs across the two sites.
Martin Stead, CEO at Chaophraya, said: “We have been steadily growing our businesses since establishing our first restaurant eight years ago. The quality of our dishes and the overall “Chao experience” has meant that our customers have not lost their appetite for eating out despite the difficult economic conditions over the past few years.
“Our aim is to take the Chao experience to as many cities as possible but we had reached a stage in our lifecycle where accessing further finance to invest had become problematic. However, Santander’s growth capital investment enables us to borrow against our future success without having to give up a slice of the business. It’s great to see a bank thinking outside the box to create something this innovative.”
The Growth Capital loan is part of Santander’s Breakthrough programme, which aims to support fast-growth small businesses to help them accelerate their growth potential. As well as funding, Breakthrough offers companies access to trade missions, business masterclasses, networking events and support in areas such as finance and marketing.
The deal was advised by Yorkshire-based accountants Garbutt & Elliott. Managing partner, Russell Turner, said: “Chaophraya’s growth and success to date has been amazing. Martin has developed a business model that is based on quality, attention to detail and focuses on maximising customer experience.
“We’ve worked closely with Martin to fine tune the business model and develop a roll-out strategy that is manageable and properly funded. Having an in-depth knowledge of Martin’s business and his goals is key to giving valuable advice, especially during these challenging economic times.”
Through Santander, Chaophrya has also undertaken a marketing masterclass with TEAM Saatchi, where they worked through their core brand positioning and created a marketing and communications strategy.
Martin added: “The Masterclass with Saatchi was a great chance for us to hear from industry experts and actively engage with them about particular challenges affecting our company. Meeting other businesses during the day also proved highly beneficial as we were able to discuss lots of inspirational ideas and different perspectives.”