An award-winning Brighton restaurant is more than two thirds of the way towards its £700,000 crowdfunding target to pay for four more sites.
Eighteen investors have pledged £476,000 between them to fund the Chilli Pickle’s ambitious growth plans.
The restaurant business, based in Jubilee Street, Brighton, is owned by Alun and Dawn Sperring, who are offering a 23 per cent share of the business in return for the cash.
They want to open four more sites in the south east this year, next year and in 2019 and 2020.
The Chilli Pickle opened in Brighton in 2008 and moved to its larger current location in 2011, with 115 covers (seating for 115 diners).
According to its pitch on the crowdfunding website Growthdeck, the Chilli Pickle generated an income – or turnover – of more than £2.2 million in 2016. This compares to about £1.5 million in 2012.
The company, which said that it was making a profit, started offering takeaway meals in 2013 and these now account for about £300,000 of the £2.2 million annual sales.
In its pitch, the company said: “The Chilli Pickle concept is established and now ripe for roll-out.
“It is planned to open four new 80 to 120-cover restaurants in south east market towns over the next three years, with the Brighton hub acting as an academy for new managers and chefs.
“The first new site is planned to be a new-build unit in the centre of a market town.
“Chilli Pickle is finalising design plans to fit out a 95-cover restaurant at a total cost of circa £700,000, of which circa 40 per cent will be funded by the landlord. The Chilli Pickle expects to open this site in June/July.
“Chilli Pickle is considering Tunbridge Wells, Worthing, Winchester, Hastings and Oxford as possible locations for the additional three new sites.
“These units are forecast to open in June 2018, June 2019 and January 2020.”
If everything goes to plan, they expect to sell the business in 2021.
Another Brighton and Hove restaurant brand, the Giggling Squid, has already expanded across the south east, with 20 branches now trading – and another opening in Brentwood, Essex, next month.