Expansion is on the menu for Ramsay: Celebrity chef plans to open fifty UK restaurants after making a £15m profit last year
Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire made a profit of more than £15million last year and is pressing ahead with plans to open 50 eateries across the UK.
The TV chef, famous for his salty language, is also planning a major expansion into Asia with 200 sites in the next five years.
His ambitions to ‘create a billion-dollar dining proposition’ are undented by the Covid-19 pandemic that has devastated much of the hospitality trade.
Cooking up something big: Gordon Ramsay, pictured with wife Tana, is pressing ahead with plans to open 50 new restaurants across the UK
Ramsay believes the restaurants will create around 2,000 jobs in the UK including some in head office.
‘We have big dreams, big plans and a global strategy so ambitious it takes my breath away,’ he said. ‘We have had to acknowledge and review the impact of the horrendous coronavirus pandemic.
‘We continue to be optimistic and ambitious, knowing it is more important than ever before to invest in our industry, to support suppliers and to create jobs.’
Brands in his stable include Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, the three Michelin-starred fine-dining flagship in Chelsea, and Petrus in Belgravia.
At the more modest end of the scale are Bread Street Kitchen, Heddon Street Kitchen, Union Street Cafe and Street Pizza.
At present, Ramsay’s restaurants are concentrated in London. He is expected to look at more openings in other cities such as Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, as well as further outlets in the capital.
Despite the coronavirus, he intends to launch a new ‘Street Burger’ outlet this winter, which will be modelled on his £15 all-you-can-eat Street Pizza brand.
A second Hell’s Kitchen is opening in Dubai – the first is in Las Vegas – and a Pub and Grill is scheduled to open in Macau in the autumn.
Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, his company, made pre-tax profits of £15.1million on sales of £54.6million in the year to the end of August 2019.
During that period, he secured a $100million deal with investor Lion Capital to expand in North America, where he has a Pub and Grill in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and steak restaurants in Baltimore and Atlantic City.
The restaurant company is now in talks with potential backers in the UK and Asia, including Lion Capital, over funding for the next round of expansion.
Ramsay, 53, was criticised during the pandemic for allegedly using the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme to pay staff.
Sources said virtually none of his employees are currently on furlough and that Ramsay had put up several million pounds of his own fortune to bolster the group during the pandemic.
If his programme of openings is successful, it will be a boost to the hospitality trade which has been flattened by the coronavirus.
But fellow TV chef Jamie Oliver saw his UK restaurant empire collapse last year with the loss of 1,000 jobs.
Ramsay, however, said he is confident he can succeed where others have failed.
‘I’ve lived and breathed the restaurant business for over 30 years. Fundamentally our focus is, and will always be on the guest and their experience.
‘We have seen the mistakes others have made by not being focused, we do not intend to make the same mistakes,’ he said.