The Good Life Group has a site in Bristol lined up for its Diner concept, with plans to target every major city in the UK “and beyond”, MCA has learnt.
Managing director Marc Francis-Baum told MCA that the group would be focussing on regional expansion following for the brand following its launch in Southampton next year. He said the strategy was prompted by having established critical mass in London and also because of the increasingly challenging environment of trading in London.
He also warned that the rapid rise of delivery was having a profound impact on restauranteurs and called on landlords to show more flexibility to support the industry.
He said: “It’s exciting times with the Diner. Southampton is being built at the moment and we’ve agreed heads of terms on a site in Bristol.
He said the Diner would continue to evolve and that, alongside expansion, there was a rolling pipeline of refurbishments within the existing estate.
He said: “The Strand site that we opened earlier this year represented a new-ish look and feel for the Diner. Southampton will carry that on. It’s a huge site so we’ll have a bar area as well.
“We’re launching a new menu in the next couple of weeks. We’ve brought back some really old classic dishes and in a way it’s going back to our roots. We’ll be cutting down on the number of burgers we do.”
On the scope for the brand, he said: “We’ve got 10 sites inside London so it’s about time we proved ourselves outside.
“I think we could hit every major city and beyond. We’re an all-day concept and we’re well-priced so I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be a success outside London.”
On the London market, Francis-Baum said: “There’s no doubt that it’s a very tough place to trade these days. You’re being battered on all sides by rents, rates, the National Living Wage, Deliveroo and good old-fashioned competition.
“Delivery is undeniably the way of the future and we sell a lot through Deliveroo. But as a restauranteur you build places so that people can come and enjoy the experience and there’s definitely a movement away from that among certain groups.
“We haven’t seen landlords being any more flexible. I think they need to because it’s changing fast and the landlords have had it good for a long time.”