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Tue 31st Mar 2015 - Thai Leisure Group eyes 14 openings in two years after £10m injection
Thai Leisure Group eyes 14 openings in two years after £10m injection: Thai Leisure Group (TLG), which currently operates 11 restaurants and four cocktail bars across the north of England and Scotland, has secured a £10m cash injection to aid expansion plans. Santander’s multi-million investment in TLG will support not only the group’s expansion of its fine dining restaurants, Chaophraya, but in particular the business’ extensive roll out plans for the recently launched authentic, street-food brand, Thaikhun. The new Thaikhun brand launched last summer and is proving hugely successful, currently in two prime sites at Spinningfields in Manchester and Union Square in Aberdeen. TLG will use the new funding to realise its plans to open six sites this year and eight throughout 2016. The first of these new openings will be in Oxford and Cambridge. The site of the former Cleaver restaurant in Oxford will open in April, followed by Cambridge Quayside in May. Other key cities TLG currently has earmarked for the Thaikhun roll-out include Guildford and Nottingham. The Group’s ultimate aim is to push out in a form of ‘pincer movement’ from their current Scotland and North England locations, pushing southwards. TLG which started life in Leeds and has recently celebrated ten years in the city is co-owned by Martin Stead and Kim Kaewraikhot, who is also chef director. The business, which has reported like for like sales growth of 9% over the last year, is one of the fastest growing in its sector. With current turnover, annualised on existing sites of £27m and serving around 26,000 customers per week, TLG is already the leading Thai restaurant group outside London. Martin Stead, co-owner, TLG, said: “This is certainly an exciting time for Kim and I. Ten years ago we opened our first Chaophraya in Leeds, and here we are about to embark on the next stage of a thrilling journey. I feel we are well positioned in a market which is very buoyant. We have the right people in place and have now secured a significant investment from Santander, which places us in a strong position to be able to push forward with new openings. 2015 is already proving an amazing year for us. It’s really a case of watch this space!” Steve Harrison, growth capital director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “This is the third round of funding provided from Santander’s Growth Capital Fund in the space of four years which is testament to Thai Leisure Group’s success and the rate at which the business is expanding. The business is one of the fastest growing and exciting in the sector with huge potential for future growth and it is great to be able to support Martin, Kim and the team in the next stage of their journey in taking Thai Leisure and their brands nationwide.”

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