Giggling Squid, the Business Growth Fund (BGF)-backed group, has further strengthened its openings pipeline, after securing a site in Chislehurst, Kent.

The 27-strong group, which has openings lined up in Bishop Stortford, Kingston and Harpenden, has secured the former Gusto site in the town.

Co-founder Andy Laurillard told MCA this summer that the group was still on target to reach 50-70 sites over the next five to seven years.

Speaking to MCA earlier this year, Gusto’s new managing director Matt Snell said he had pressed the pause button on new openings, as the group geared up for the planned separation from Living

Snell, who took hold of the reins at the Palatine Private Equity-backed chain in March, after joining as commercial director in January, said one of the first things he did was “put a stop to our openings pipeline”.

“Having that conversation with our backers was quite difficult because they want us to grow, but what I wanted to do as a new managing director was do a thorough review of our estate, of the site choices that had been made, and our existing property strategy,” he said.