Set up in 2009 by Russell Norman and Richard Beatty, the group of restaurants has expanded rapidly, fuelled by the popularity of their ‘from market to table’ approach to serving fantastically fresh, seasonal dishes.
Currently there are three Polpo restaurants in Covent Garden, Soho and Smithfield – each is a ‘bàcaro’ – a Venetian word for a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines. The company also owns two other restaurants, Mishkin’s (described as ‘a kind of Jewish deli with cocktails’) and Spuntino, which offers an Italian-American vibe.
Realising that further investment would be required to meet market demand and to stay ahead of the competition; the partners approached natwest for funding to support the opening of a sixth restaurant, the Ape & Bird – a pub and restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue, London.
Working closely with Mark Robertson, relationship manager at NatWest, Polpo Ltd was able to secure a £540,000 loan. The loan, provided by the bank as part of its participation in the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme, was provided free from arrangement fees.
"We wanted to expand the business, but we did not want to take funding from an independent source," says Richard, "We were delighted when natwest agreed to support our plans to open another restaurant."
With the addition of the new restaurant, Polpo Ltd will increase the number of its employees from approximately 160 to 240. It’s expected that the new venue will facilitate substantial business growth and the company anticipates a 30% increase on current turnover, with an £8 million target for the end of 2013.
Please note that the Funding for Lending Scheme cannot be applied to overdrafts or business credit cards. This is a limited scheme and will be available on a first come first served basis. Usual lending conditions apply. Structured finance and Real Estate Finance are excluded. Partners with a passion for authentic fresh food expand restaurant portfolio.
The funding has enabled us to retain our entrepreneurial spirit and build the business effectively and quickly without having to sell.
Richard Beatty, Partner, Polpo Ltd
London based restaurant group Polpo Ltd has worked with NatWest to expand its empire from five to six restaurants.
The funding has enabled us to retain our entrepreneurial spirit and build the business effectively and quickly without having to sell ourselves short.