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Tue 8th May 2018 - Caskade Caterers secures £29.4m for Taco Bell roll-out
Caskade Caterers secures £29.4m for Taco Bell roll-out: Caskade Caterers, the Taco Bell and KFC franchise business, has secured a £29.4m funding package from HSBC to support its ambitious expansion plans. The £13m loan, £10m revolving credit facility and £6.4m commercial mortgage from HSBC will help with the roll-out of new Taco Bell restaurants across London and south west England, the first of which have recently opened in Southampton and Poole. The next location to open will be London in the summer, with plans to open another three to five stores per annum over the next few years. The move will see Caskade Caterers chief executive Hamid Ali diversify his existing UK and international enterprises, which currently includes 30 KFC restaurants across Dorset, Sussex and Kent and three hotels in Fiji. Ali said: “Continuing to drive expansion is top of our agenda and with HSBC’s support, led by our relationship director Pankaj Singh, the new financial year will see us increase our presence in both London and the south of England. We’ll be looking to build our portfolio through acquisitions, purchasing new sites and exploring new franchisee options in our target regions.” Victoria Ritchie, HSBC’s area director for London City corporate banking, added: “We have forged a good relationship with Hamid, supporting his company’s growth over the past few years with impressive results. His new, fast-paced expansion plans for the UK show great ambition, with multiple sites planned in the next 12 months. We can’t wait to see what’s next for this exciting business.”

Japan House London to launch next month with restaurant headed by former Engawa head chef: Japan House London is to launch next month featuring an eatery headed by Akira Shimizu, former head chef of Soho restaurant Engawa. The site, which will launch in Kensington High Street on Friday, 22 June, is one of three locations the Japanese government is launching to offer insights into the country ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – the others are in Los Angeles and São Paulo. Akira At Japan House will offer Japanese-style omotenashi hospitality with seasonal ingredients cooked over a Robata grill. Dishes will include sushi specialities and chargrilled kushiyaki skewers made from wagyu beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables. Rice will be prepared in a donabe (clay pot), complemented by cocktails including rare sake, yuzu and shiso. Spread over three floors, Japan House London will also offer exhibition and events space, a library, shop, and snack bar The Stand, which will offer Nel Drip coffee. London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Japanese community in London makes a huge contribution economically and culturally to the capital.”

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