Giggling Squid, the leading UK Thai restaurant group, is to accelerate its growth following a £6.4m investment from BGF.
Giggling Squid, which has 13 sites across the South of England, will use the BGF funds to add further locations to its portfolio of successful restaurants. BGF took a minority equity stake in the business. BGF has also introduced Simon Kossoff, Chairman and former CEO of Carluccio’s, to the company. Simon joined the board as non-executive Chairman and Jon Simon, Investor at BGF, has also joined the board.
Giggling Squid serves simple, fresh Thai cuisine at lunch and dinner and also offers takeaway services across its restaurants.
Headquartered in Guildford, the business is run by Andy and Pranee Laurillard. They opened the first Giggling Squid in Hove, followed by further restaurants in Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Henley, Reigate and Stratford. Giggling Squid’s reputation and loyal customer base began to grow.
Over the past two years the pace of growth has accelerated, with three openings in 2014 and a further four so far this year, in Bristol, Salisbury, Billericay and Guildford. New restaurants in Bury St Edmunds, Berkhamsted, Warwick and Esher are due to open soon.
Andy and Pranee’s background in marketing and brand strategy has helped them to drive the success of the Giggling Squid brand. Pranee started her career as an advertising creative at international creative agency Lintas. Andy started his career in 1996 at Unilever, before a short spell at Coca Cola and subsequently five years as head of brand strategy and innovation at TUI Travel.
Giggling Squid’s expansion to date has been funded through cashflow alongside debt from Barclays. BGF’s £6.4m investment will provide further capital to accelerate the growth plan across the South and nationally. The business employs around 300 staff across its thirteen sites and is expected to generate revenue in excess of £12m this year. A further 1,000 jobs nationally are expected to be created as a result of the company’s expansion over the next 4 years.