Wahaca, the Mexican street food restaurant concept led by Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, is on track to make its regional debut in the next 12 months and add a further three sites to its 11-strong core London estate.
Selby told M&C Report that the group, which saw turnover increase over 40% to £22.5m in the year to 30 June 2013, had continued its strong performance over the last eight months and that sales for its current financial year should be “significantly up”.
He also said the group was looking at locations in Cardiff and in talks on a unit as part of the redevelopment of Manchester’s Corn Exchange for its first regional opening.
He said: “Manchester really excites us and through a social media campaign ‘bring Wahaca to Cardiff’ we know we have a strong following in that city, so we hope to have at least one regional site opened in the next 12 months.”
Selby said the group current performance has been aided by the opening of sites in St Paul’s, Islington and Waterloo since the end of June, with the site in One New Change “trading particularly well”.
Its next site under its core brand will open in Wimbledon next month on the former Coal site it acquire at the turn of the year, although planning issues are holdings up further openings in Brixton and Great Portland Street.
He said that the funding and structure, including a recently introduced area management layer, are now in place to take the chain to 20 to 25 sites, after which it should be self-funding.
He also reiterated that although the group’s Burrito Mama concept was doing well, the company had no intention of entering the capital’s “burrito war”.
Pre-tax profit stood at £417,000 in the year to 30 June, up from £60,500 the year before.
The company said: “The increase in turnover was primarily due to the full-year effect of sites opened in the prior year and to new sites opening during the period and the existing sites also experiencing growth in sales. We believe that the Wahaca concept offers customers a unique experience that gives us a competitive advantage.”