Benito’s Hat, the Calculus-backed Mexican chain has confirmed two new openings.

The announcement of new restaurants in St Albans and at the 02 Arena comes following an investment of £1m to fund a three-year growth plan in London and throughout the UK.

Benito’s Hat St Albans will open at the former Jamie’s Italian Deli site on Chequer St and will feature the full Benito’s Hat menu of burritos, tacos, salads and quesadillas as well as a separate bar area serving margaritas, traditional agua frescas and coffee. The 02 Arena will be the flagship of the Benito’s Hat brand, boasting 80 covers and a large standalone cocktail bar. The restaurant will form part of the O2 Arena’s new retail and dining development.

The two openings highlight the two-pronged growth strategy of Benito’s Hat with openings under its full concept and smaller footprint stores. The last year has seen small format Benito’s Hat’s opening up in Oxford Westgate and Leicester Highcross shopping centres, joining a portfolio that includes Goodge Street, Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, Bromley, Farringdon and King’s Cross.

 

Managing director of Benito’s Hat, Michael Pearson said: “We are hugely excited by this new chapter in Benito’s continued growth but it would not possible without the ongoing support of our investors, particularly Calculus capital who have been a massive support. We have been working towards these two new openings for over 12 months, adapting our store model, bolstering our supply chain and further improving our design. The hard work is now finally paying off and we can’t wait to open our doors to new audiences in St Albans and at the O2.”

The £1m of fresh funding announced in August all came from existing investors, with Calculus as the lead. Pearson told MCA at the time that he did not expect to return to his backers for further investment.

Growth over the next few years is set to come from a combination of company-owned and franchised stores.