Gastro pubs and fast casual dining are perfectly poised to capitalise from investments under the Enterprise Investment Scheme, a specialist has said.

Gary Robins, director at Radius Equity, said the 42% increase in the number of pubs and restaurants seeking funds under EIS showed operators were waking up to the willingness of investors to get involved in their sector.

Figures from Radius show 85 operators sought funds through EIS this year compared to 60 last year.

Robins said: “There is an increasing awareness of EIS and what it can do for businesses. There is also a huge amount of interest from investors for the leisure sector and gastro pubs and fast casual dining in particular. They perceive it as a sector that is at a good point in the economic cycle and crucially it’s a sector they understand.

“They see confidence returning to the consumers who in turn are spending more in pubs and restaurants and they want to capitalise on that.”

He said gastro pubs were particularly popular because they “can provide great returns for investors as skilled chefs can add significant value to relatively inexpensive ingredients, and of course rents are much cheaper for gastro pubs which tend to be away from traditional restaurant hotspots like Mayfair and the West End.”

He said a current example of EIS helping the eating and drinking out sector was the bid by Fifteen executive head chef, Jon Rotheram, and former One Leicester Street chef patron, Tom Harris to raie £2.4m to launch a “Michelin standard dining room” at the Marksman pub in Hackney.