The UK’s fastest growing private companies: Hot 100 2015 – (79) Busaba Eathai

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Name: Busaba Eathai 
Industry/sector: Retail and related services
Date founded: 1999
The boss: Jason Myers
Location: London
Latest turnover: £23.7m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 32.09
Latest EBITDA: £1.7m

The CEO of Busaba Eathai Jason Myers has unveiled plans to double Busaba Eathai’s estate over the next three years, with additional emphasis placed on expansion outside of the capital. Off the back of solid financial results in 2014, the Phoenix Capital Partners-backed group is looking for sites nationally, and has recently signed a site in Manchester, and is also looking proactively for further acquisitions in Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Scotland

Busaba, together with private equity investors Phoenix, which bought the business in 2008 for £21.5m, has raised funds to acquire and develop more than 20 new sites over the next three years. These comments came as the business posted a turnover of £23.78m – up by 13.2 per cent year-on-year.

Another method of retaining its loyal customers has involved becoming the first full-service restaurant to unveil statistics related to its mobile loyalty and payment programme. It was found that the average spend in the restaurant is increasing 2.4 per cent each month, and that 39 per cent of app users are repeat diners who are contributing 67 per cent of daily transactions. 

The app technology is integrated into Busaba’s existing EPoS system, whereby the waiter receives an alert to say the bill has been paid and the account can then be closed. The mobile app also includes a loyalty scheme called “Path to Enlightenment”, which uses gamification to provide customers with incentives such as their favourite dish for free.

Myers, said: “In our experience loyalty comes when customers recognise they are valued, and receive relevant engagement that reflects their special status. In turn, we learn more about our customers and how we can better serve them. This is a subtle but significant change in approach, where industry-style basic discounting is replaced by sophisticated mobile loyalty schemes.” He suggested the app had become a critical tool to success in an increasingly competitive environment.

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