Grillstock co-founder Jon Finch has told MCA new Californian-inspired all-day concept Quay St Diner could be rolled out to other towns under a measured expansion plan. 

Finch, who launched the charcoal fire grill concept in Bristol over the summer with partner Ben Merrington, said the melting pot food style meant it had potential to be flexible in new locations.

He told MCA the partners had learned lessons from the collapse of Grillstock, which went into administration, and has now been liquidated, and said any rollout would be cautious and initially local.

Finch said the pair were in a good position to make Quay St a success having become well versed in back office operations at Grillstock.

Finch said: “We want to spend a good while proving the concept and making sure it’s dialled in, the offer and experience are right - but for sure, it’s something that could easily work in other cities and towns. The flexibility means it can easily fit into new places.

“Quay Street isn’t particularly well known, even to Bristolians, so we could potentially roll it out as Quay St, or as something with the same core look and feel.

“We are not tied to a particular genre of food - there’s nothing to say the live fire concept couldn’t lend itself to other styles of food as well.”

On lessons learned from his time founding and operating Grillstock, the BBQ restaurant, he added: “One of the mistakes we made was opening restaurants too far from home. Bath and Bristol were very successful and profitable. We then took it to Walthamstow and Leicester, big sites with lots of investment, and it’s a lot harder to be there every day. If we do go on to open further sites, we will keep it close to home.

“We learned a lot of the rules of running a restaurant – the mechanics under the bonnet. We knew what our labour rate should be, our food rate, how to keep waste in check, how to keep stock in check. There’s a lot of that stuff we brought with us.”