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The UK’s fastest growing private companies: Hot 100 2015 – (16) Ed’s Easy Diner

Inspired by the classic 50s American diner experience, burger business Ed's has grown from a single Soho operation to over 30 branches with more on the way.
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Name: Ed’s Easy Diner
Industry/sector: Retail and related services
Date founded: 1987
The boss: Andrew Guy
Location: London
Latest turnover: £17.5m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 62.43
Latest EBITDA: £1.3m

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Ed’s Easy Diner is very much a British business, but one that’s been inspired by the diners found in 1950s America.

It was originally created 28 years ago and started out as lone Soho spot Ed’s. It has gradually expanded over the years since then, now serving more than 30 locations including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cambridge, Derby, Leicester, Liverpool and Swindon.

The company’s compound growth rate for this year was 62.43 per cent, while turnover hit £17.53 million. It wasn’t enough to beat last year’s position of 12, but the company is still eyeing further growth with new sites to open in Blackpool, Chester, Livingstone, Redditch and Woking.

Elsewhere, the retro-feeling food spot has recognised a more modern form of business with a mobile app. The channel acts as a hub for Ed’s Club, a loyalty programme designed to rewards regulars with 10p for every £1 that they spend. A free registration burger and complimentary birthday shake are also among the exclusives the company is providing to retain customers.

With that in mind, Ed’s recognised the rise of the connected consumer in late 2014 and launched free WiFi support in its restaurants.

“WiFi is simply a part of eating out – diners check-in, search for offers, upload a photograph of their meal to Facebook and so on. It’s a part of everyday life and we needed to adapt,” said Andrew Guy, CEO of Ed’s Easy Diner.

“We want to provide a solid WiFi service so customers can sign-up to Ed’s Club and retrieve the offers that come with that. It’s all part of ensuring we give people the service they want. The Cloud has an excellent reputation. It was the perfect fit for us and even our customers asked for it specifically.”

The burger business has also innovated with its food in the past year. It introduced a large 8oz burger alternative to the regular 5oz and also launched a gluten-free menu to appease those suffering from coeliac disease. More bizarrely, for those not watching their figures, the firm also offered a limited edition 900-calorie burger that came topped with doughnuts and mini pizzas rather than a bun.

Previous (15) G&P Group

Next (17) Angus Montgomery

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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