Itsu poised to open 100 new outlets after striking Bridgepoint deal

The partnership is also the second time the London-based group invested in Julian Metcalfe’s ventures.

Asian-inspired food brand Itsu reveals plans to open 100 new UK sites in a five-year period, after the company sold a minority stake to international alternative asset group Bridgepoint.

In a statement, Bridgepoint said it will also provide an "substantial investment" towards the new sites, which is expected to create 2,000 new jobs in the country.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The partnership is also the second time the London-based group invested in Metcalfe’s ventures, after previously investing in Pret A Manger in 2008.

Total sales for Itsu in 2022 are forecast to be over £170 million.

"We are thrilled to be teaming up with Bridgepoint again after our success together at Pret A Manger during the dynamic 2008-2018 era. We've spent months in lockdown working with them to ensure Itsu will be well-funded for long-term growth. Never before has enjoying healthy, nutritious food been so uppermost in customers minds,” Metcalfe said in a statement, adding the brand was slowly getting back to pre-pandemic customer visits and that its sites outside of London are “already busier than before” 

The chain also plans to reopen the remaining centrally located stores that have been closed since last September.

Benoit Alteirac, partner of Bridgepoint, added: "We see a global opportunity for Itsu. Their standout offer is an exciting and contemporary attitude to healthy and nutritious food with nearly 40% of it being plant-based. Itsu combines affordable, convenient, and fresh food with an outstanding operational model coupled with deep-rooted brand values. We recognise their time is now and their ambition, goals and purpose are so relevant in this post-pandemic era."

Currently, Itsu has 74 restaurants across the UK and is building new restaurants in Reading, St Albans and Holborn in London as well as Belgium. It also plans to roll out its digital kiosks across all sites to complement its sushi robots and customer loyalty app.

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