Hospitality & Tourism

Published: January 6, 2020 | Updated: January 6, 2020

Taking flight: Hospitality group to launch new Flamingo concept and fourth Chicken & Blues

Joshua Simons and Stephen Crawford, Co-Founders of Chicken & Blues. Picture: Samantha Sheldon.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An award-winning hospitality group which currently operates three restaurants across Bournemouth and Poole under the Chicken & Blues brand is to launch two further sites.

Chicken & Blues Bournemouth and Flamingo, in Winton, are expected to open in the next six months.

A town centre site, covering 2,000 sq ft, is currently under offer for the fourth Chicken & Blues.

Joshua Simons and Stephen Crawford, who co-founded the hospitality group in 2013, are keeping tight-lipped about the exact location.

However, they say it’s ‘a prominent site, in close proximity to high footfall shopping and leisure facilities’.

The restaurant is subject to planning permission.

Flamingo is described as ‘a unique food-led concept showcasing multiple restaurant brands from the same kitchen with a large capacity venue designed for social all-day dining.’

It will seat a total of 150 guests across three individual spaces.

A feature pergola will cover the rear of the building and offer year-round dining in what will feel like a woodland garden.

The kitchen will initially offer three food brands to diners:

  • An all-day brunch brand (name yet to be unveiled).
  • Road-side burger concept, Brenda’s Burgers.
  • Slice Club Pizza, a New York-style 22-inch pizza concept, sold by the slice.

Mr Simons said: “Flamingo will be a modern creative take on a traditional neighbourhood café bar, one which guests are invited to use in multiple ways, from morning coffees and work-meetings, through to evening get togethers with friends.”

Winton is home to 14,000 Bournemouth University students, as well as a varied demographic of local residents.

Mr Crawford, who is the group’s Finance Director,  said Chicken & Blues’ performance had “exceeded expectations” over the past year.

Company revenues in 2019 were up 40 per cent on 2018, and had risen 18 per cent like-for-like at pre-existing site level, bucking the “well documented issues” in the casual dining sector across the UK.

He added that 2020’s mission was to bring C&B’s multi-award winning BBQ chicken “to a greater audience”.

The group, which also includes an event and media business, has secured six figure funding for its expansion and is targeting group-wide revenue of £4m with the launch of the two further sites.

As reported on Dorset Biz News, Ashley Brown, formerly of the Haché Burger chain in London, joined the board in June 2019, broadening operational experience in preparation for accelerated growth of the brand.

C&B subsequently won its first national award, taking the title of ‘Best Family Restaurant Brand’ at the Deliveroo Restaurant Awards in London in November.

It won the category despite strong competition from brands including Frankie & Benny’s, Giraffe, Miller & Carter, Turtle Bay and Bodean’s.

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

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