Luke Johnson aims for 50 new restaurants
19 September, 2011
The brands backed by serial restaurant entrepreneur Luke Johnson plans to open a half-century of new restaurants and retail outlets next year.
Speaking at the Telegraph’s Festival of Business, Johnson outlined the ambitious plans for the Giraffe, Patisserie Valerie, Gail’s Artisan Bakery and Feng Sushi brands, which have all been backed by his Risk Capital Partners vehicle. All of them have already been busy on the expansion trail this year.
Johnson said mid-market brands like his had good reason to be optimistic, despite the tough economic climate. “There are two ways to grow—you can remain constant in a growing market or take share in a static or stagnant market. If you have something better than the competition, whether the exchange rate has gone to hell in a hand basket doesn't really matter.” Britain “is still a great place to do business,” he added. “I'm an optimist by nature and the son of a historian [Paul Johnson]—he's pointed out to me in the past that in the long run optimists always win.”
Johnson also questioned Pizza Express’ recent rebranding, reported first by Peach Report. “That cost them £25m. I don’t know whether that was a good investment or not. We’ll see.” He suggested that the pizza chain—of which he was chairman—should rein in its discounting. “You have one customer paying half what the person on the next table is paying. They should put the pricing to a sensible level throughout.”
For the full story, see Luke Johnson to open 50 new restaurants, outlets.