Benito’s Hat, the London-based restaurant chain, has launched new assisted service style in its suburban high street model, which it launched before Christmas in its debut regional site in Bromley.

The seven-strong chain, which recently closed its Leadenhall Market site and kiosk at Liverpool Street Station, made the change after consumer feedback and it has led to a 40% increase in evening food sales from November to December, while cocktail sales rose 38%.

Founder Ben Fordham told M&C that the company, which will launch its largest site to date later this year at London Bridge, would look to use the new style in further high street openings.

He said: “Evening menu items across existing restaurants include a sharing taco tray for two where you build your own tacos. Bromley menu additions include a Pulled Pork sandwich, an El Presidente Burrito, Chilli and Churros.

“Order at the counter and eat with your hands is still at the core of what we do but the service style after 5pm is now more like Nando’s. Burritos are still fully customisable if the customer wishes but we have made menu items out of the best combinations. It is not going to work everywhere, but it gives the company further flexibility when it comes to expansion opportunities.”

Fordham said that the company would like to open a further site this year and then ramp up openings to three to four from 2017 onwards.

Yesterday, Harry Ramsden’s announced it was to roll out an assisted service style format in a number of its new sites.