Hawksmoor’s growth strategy focuses on expanding the brand’s presence across major cities in the US, co-founder and CEO Will Beckett tells MCA.

With an upcoming opening in Liverpool this year to add to its estate of nine restaurants in the UK, the steak restaurant’s expansion strategy will aim to capitalise on adding to its US portfolio of one restaurant in New York.

While the business is also due to launch in Dublin next year and has been approached to expand to the Middle East, it is unlikely to explore another market soon, according to Beckett.

“The majority of our growth will be outside the UK for a while,” he says. “We have a burgeoning reputation in New York. The US a big market; even if we were to do extremely well and go faster than we’ve ever gone before, we wouldn’t exhaust that market.”

“Hawksmoor has maintained a special aura to the brand even though we have seven restaurants in London, but there’s a natural limit to that. We’re more inclined to look at where that limit hasn’t been reached.”

Despite targeting the US, expansion will maintain a balance between eyeing the right markets and taking up the right opportunities, Beckett explains.

“We try to get a balance between proactive and reactive,” he says. “Birmingham or Glasgow could comfortably accommodate a full-size Hawksmoor restaurant. Opportunities come our way sometimes and we find it had to say no.”

Expansion will continue maintaining company-owned restaurants, with franchising an unlikely option.

“For the time being, we do it ourselves,” Beckett adds. “We’re so specific in the way we try to run restaurants and we think a lot about the culture of these restaurants. We’d struggle to let go of that.”

Hawksmoor aims to open one restaurant every six months, with a focus on maintaining its standards and values. Its most recent openings – in New York and Canary Wharf – opened within weeks of each other, but this year, the only opening will be Liverpool.

“We’re working out how to adapt to the scale we’re at, while making sure we retain our commitments to our standards,” he says. “Two really huge projects in 10 weeks felt difficult, but one in a whole year didn’t feel right from the growth point of view.

“Although there is so much happening right now, it’s probably sensible.”

Despite wider trends toward working from home, growth will maintain Hawksmoor’s focus on major cities and city centre locations.

“Part of the reason people enjoy Hawksmoor is the big bustling restaurants with a real vibe and real high standards. It’s about world class restaurants in world class cities.”