Ego Restaurants will initially expand within its current geographical footprint, with plans to later build its presence in the Southeast and Northeast, CEO James Horler tells MCA.

Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) – which took a 40% stakes in the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant chain in 2018 – acquired the remaining stake earlier this week, with plans to take the brand nationwide.

Ego’s 26 sites are currently trading well, helped along by 566,000 Club members and their location in suburban areas, according to Horler. It sees opportunities to further introduce the concept into existing M&B locations.

“This now gives us a much bigger balance sheet to open more sites,” he says. “The runway just got a lot bigger.

“We have already converted 16 M&B sites into Ego and have good experience of these sites to select suitable sites for the future.”

The offer will remain consistent under M&B, which brings “significant strength in resources and purchasing to help us to continue to drive profitability.”

“M&B have been on our board for the last five years, so we know them well and they know us well,” Horler adds. “This will be further strengthening of that relationship.”