Gusto feasts on £9m to accelerate nationwide roll out


Private equity backed Gusto Restaurants Limited has secured an additional £9m funding package from Santander to support its growth plans and target new sites across the UK.

Gusto is a fast growing restaurant brand that was formed by Living Ventures in 2005 and backed by Palatine Private Equity in a management buyout in 2014.

Gusto now operates 16 restaurants across the UK and employs over 600 staff. It recorded turnover of £23m in the year to March 2016 ‐ a 21 per cent increase on the previous year.

The Italian inspired restaurants offer fashionable décor and a range of cocktails paired with a classic and contemporary menu, using fresh, carefully selected, simple ingredients to offer a wide choice of premium Italian and European dishes.

The £9m development and working capital facilities from Santander will allow the Italian inspired brand to develop existing sites as well as targeting new suburban locations. Gusto most recently opened in West Bridgford, near Nottingham and has already identified sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South.

Managing Director of Gusto, Sue Crimes, said: “We are thrilled to secure Santander backing and are very much looking forward to working with them in expanding our business and increasing our geographical presence across the UK. With the ongoing support from Palatine and a great Gusto team in place, we will continue to build our position as a national brand.
“We are grateful to Santander and Palatine for their shared vision in our ever growing business and their belief in our brand.”

Gary Tipper, Managing Partner of Palatine Private Equity, added:“Since Palatine’s investment, the management team have done a great job of building and developing the brand and moving into new areas of the UK, and there is now a solid platform to grow the business further. This new facility allows the business to deliver Gusto’s strong site pipeline, and also puts the company in a great position to take advantage of additional site or portfolio opportunities that arise.”

Santander Relationship Director, Ian Henry, commented: “Gusto is an established and popular brand, with a strong management team and great backers in Living Ventures and Palatine. Santander is delighted to be supporting the company in its next phase of growth.”

Gusto was supported on the transaction by the Manchester office of Pinsent Masons (Tim Fearne) and Santander by the banking team at Addleshaw Goddard (Martin O’Shea). Gateleys (Richard Sealy) provided support to Beechbrook Capital.