Jamie Barber, the founder of Hush and Cabana, has told MCA that new acquisition the five-strong, gourmet burger group Hachè has potential to become a much larger group but that in the short-term the focus will be on “maturing the group’s systems” and refurbishing the entire estate.

Yesterday, MCA revealed that Hachè has been acquired by Barber, former Richoux managing director Ed Standring, and Ian Neill, ex chief executive of Wagamama.

The business has been acquired under Barber’s Hush business and will be operated separately from Cabana.

Neill will chair the new enlarged Hush/Hachè business, with Standring, who previously worked with Barber on the Villandry and Villandry Kitchen concepts, overseeing the operational side of things.

Barber didn’t rule out the Hush in Holborn being converted to the burger brand, but that such a move was not immediately on the cards.

Barber told MCA: “What attracted us to Hachè, apart from it being a profitbale and well-loved business, was the fact that it stood out from the rest of the burger market. It is s still offering a gourmet experience, at competitive prices, whereas the rest of the sector has either moved down or up into that better burger space. It is a French neighbourhood restaurant format that happens to do very good burgers.

“It may be needs some maturing in terms of some of its operational functions but it is a well-loved brand, which we believe has plenty of potential, especially as it can work in neighbourhoods across a relatively small footprint. We are planning a gentle programme of refurbishments over the next 12 months while bedding in new systems and integrating the business.

“Ed and I have worked together before and I think we bring complimentary skill sets to the business.”

Hachè, which has restaurants in Camden, Chelsea, Clapham, Balham and Shoreditch, was established 12 years ago by Berry and Suzie Casey.

Berry Casey said: “Haché is ready for expansion and I feel Jamie and Ed are the right people to steer the brand in realising its true potential.”