Bristol-based, healthy eating concept Friska is set for further expansion after securing £3m of growth capital from YFM Equity Partners.
YFM, which has also backed Bagel Nash and Firezza in the sector, has taken a minority stake in the business, which was founded by Griff Holland and Ed Brown in 2009. The new investment will help the company, which is set to make its debut in Manchester this September, double its estate over the next three years.
As part of the deal, the Bristol-based Steve Hill, former chief executive of Wagamama and Las Iguanas and current non-executive chairman of Pho, joins Friska as its new non-executive chairman.
Friska currently operates sites across Bristol and Birmingham and will soon open its first franchise outlet in London Luton Airport with US-based hospitality group Delaware North.
The new funding round comes on the back of strong financial performance across the group, with like-for-like sales growth of up to 50% at some of its most established stores.
The company said that despite post Brexit inflationary pressures and increasing costs associated with the National Living Wage, it had maintained its “healthy profit margins” through improved efficiencies, cross trained store teams and smarter menu design and development.
Holland said, “Unlocking the growth capital and experience that YFM and Steve bring to the table is extremely exciting. The past eight years have been an absolute blast and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved, however the investment and bolstered management team will help us achieve our mission of becoming the best place to eat and work within the quick service restaurant industry in a bigger, better, faster, stronger way.”
Charlie Robinson, investment director at YFM, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Griff and Ed on the next stage of their journey with Friska. They have built a fantastic brand with a high quality breakfast and lunch food offering which customers love. We see significant opportunity for the business to expand into new cities to bring the Friska brand to a new audience.”
Brown said: “Over the past eight years, we have been honing our menu, the way our stores look and feel, our brand and of course our operating systems. We feel confident that now is the right time to bring our Feel Good Food and coffee to cities around the UK. We are now on the look out for tip top sites in Manchester, Birmingham and beyond!”
The company plans to use its upcoming opening in the Bright Building at Manchester Science Park as the first of a number of openings in and around the city.
Holland told MCA: “This opening will help us bolt on a number of sites in a much easier way than having to run each store independent of itself. It will be very much along the same way as we have expanded in Bristol.”
MCA revealed earlier this year that Friska was in talks with industry figures and private equity houses about proposed investment in the business.