Kaspa's Desserts 1

Kaspa’s Desserts is to open a new site in London’s Soho, its first in central London – marking a shift from residential areas, MD Francesco Arcadio tells MCA.

The business is also underrepresented in the Midlands, and is considering opportunities to launch in the Middle East and Ireland, following the opening of its first overseas stores in Morocco and Pakistan.

The 87-strong dessert parlour chain will open a takeaway- and delivery-only unit on Dean Street and has also recently opened its first seaside town location in Southport.

“We found good ice cream offers in Soho, but these were not always supported by a strong dessert offer,” Arcadio says, adding that the variety across Kaspa’s menu – including crepes, waffles, cookie dough, sundaes, cakes, and bubble tea – will make it a strong contender.

However, the dine-in and community aspect will remain an important part of future growth.

Kaspa's Desserts 2

The group has had to review its expansion ambitions due to cost pressures as well as declining visit frequency and average spend. The business has focused on negotiating with suppliers and minimising labour costs to improve efficiencies and profitability.

Six Kaspa’s sites are currently listed as temporarily closed on its website. The company said two stores had been impacted by accidental structural damage and are awaiting refurbishment to re-open in the summer, and the rest have been new partners acquisitions.

Kaspa’s also remains keen to continue innovating, with a new menu offering items like Red Bull-infused drinks, chimney cakes, sweet arancini, cinnamon doughnut bites, and plant-based cronuts.

“We have no debt, which has helped us reinvest £1m into the business,” Arcadio says. “We decided to cut our profit to allow franchisees to get back on their feet. We’ve also moved distribution to increase savings.”

The group has also expanded its team, with new functions dedicated to food innovation and marketing. It unveiled new Mean Girls-inspired menu items earlier this year in collaboration with the film, which helped “put Kaspa’s on the map,” Arcadio adds.

The strategy is now to maximise revenue from across day parts. While traditionally a dessert parlour focused on evening trade from families, Kaspa’s new products targeted towards Gen Z customers have helped increase trade throughout the day.

The chain’s delivery sales have also experienced double-digit growth over the past three years, making it an essential part of the business.

Kaspa’s has carefully controlled price rises while maintaining portion sizes so as not to alienate customers, according to Arcadio.

“We’ve agreed to find savings elsewhere…we want to offer good value. The attention to quality has also paid off – customers feel we’re the best place to go to for a treat with the variety we offer.”

He adds that there remain strong opportunities to expand and make profit in the UK, but with enquiries coming in from several overseas markets, Kaspa’s will maintain its focus on both national and international expansion.

“It’s not the end for hospitality in the UK – we just need to adapt to a different climate,” Arcadio says.