Hospitality & Tourism

Published: October 23, 2019 | Updated: October 23, 2019

#Dorset success story 1 – Restaurant chain set to expand after triumph at Deliveroo awards

Chicken & Blues’ Co-founders Steve Crawford (left) and Joshua Simons with the Deliveroo award for ‘Best Family Restaurant’.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A restaurant chain with three sites in Bournemouth and Poole is set to hit the expansion trail after triumphing at the first-ever Deliveroo Restaurant Awards.

Chicken & Blues (C&B) won the category for ‘Best Family Restaurant’ despite strong competition from brands including Frankie & Benny’s, Giraffe, Miller & Carter, Turtle Bay and Bodean’s.

Co-founders Joshua Simons and Steve Crawford were presented with the award by Jasmine Hemsley, the author, TV presenter and founder of Hemsley + Hemsley, in front of a 500-strong audience at Shoreditch Town Hall in London.

C&B will now be part of a national Deliveroo campaign, worth £30,000, which is expected to put the brand firmly on the map.

It has also revealed plans to raise between £500k-£1m early next year with the intention of growing from the current three sites up to ten.

Ashley Brown, formerly of London’s successful Haché Burger chain, has joined C&B as its new Chief of Operations to prepare for the expansion.

The company plans to expand out of Bournemouth and up the M27/M3 corridor, potentially starting with Southampton.

Mr Simons said the Deliveroo award was a “massive event” for C&B and the victory had taken time to sink in.

He added: “This is a momentous occasion for us, and the first time we have won a national award.

“The hard work of our teams, and the ever-loyal support of C&B fans made it happen.

“The award was decided purely on a public vote, so to win is incredible, given the brands we were competing against. We’d like to thank everyone for their support.”

Mr Crawford said that six years after C&B first began life in Boscombe “we feel like we have made some great progress recently.”

He added: “This award means the world to us, and we now prepare ourselves for steady expansion of the brand in 2020.”

C&B’s three sites are in Boscombe, Ashley Cross and Winton, serving more than 6,000 customers every week.

The company expects to post sales of ‘well over £2m’ in the coming financial year.

C&B now fulfils more than 1,000 Deliveroo orders per week and the number is growing.

Mr Simons said that future plans included launching multiple concept hospitality brands over coming years to form “a dynamic hospitality group.”

The next addition will be a 200-cover social dining concept encompassing multiple food brands from the same kitchen.

Called The Flamingo it is due to open early next year in Winton.