Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Restaurant group cooking up a brighter future with purchase of flagship site in Lincoln

An independent East Midlands hospitality group has cemented its future in the region through the purchase of its flagship site in Lincoln, with support from Lloyds Bank.

Established in 2009, Ever So Sensible Restaurants now operates ten food-led hospitality venues across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, all of which are currently trading well.

A £700,000 finance package from Lloyds Bank has enabled the group to purchase the freehold of one of its most popular venues, the Duke William Hotel – pub, restaurant, with a boutique style hotel, located in the centre of the historic Bailgate in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter. The hotel has nine ensuite rooms and an adjacent cottage.

The purchase now means Ever So sensible will be able to consider enabling long term investment in the building and the opportunity to expand its accommodation options in the city through the purchase of nearby properties.

It marks the first freehold site purchased by the group and will act as a template for future acquisitions of its other leased buildings to help maximise the potential of all its sites. This, in combination with further planned acquisitions of new locations.

The group employs more than 200 staff across its venues, including around 30 at the Duke William. Already the holder of an Investors in People Gold Accreditation, the group plans to invest further in its team by enhancing its existing training and development programme, which includes butchery courses, brewery training and gin distilling. The Duke William also hopes to use its greater independence to offer permanent employment to some of its currently contracted staff, such as its cleaners.

Ever So Sensible is investing in sustainability. At the Duke William, it recently installed electric vehicle charging points in its car park. The venue also sources all its ingredients locally where possible, has switched to 100% renewable energy, and is working to reduce its food waste.

Chris Bulaitis, Managing Director at Ever So Sensible Restaurants, said: “When we first took over the Duke William Hotel six years ago, the building was semi-derelict. With Lloyds Bank’s support, we are now the proud owners of this beautiful historic building, which we have completely refurbished and transformed into a high-end local destination, serving fantastic food and employing some of the best people in the industry.

“With our ownership of the building now secured, we’re looking forward to a busy summer at the Duke William, as well as looking into opportunities to expand our footprint, both locally and through the acquisition of further venues in the East Midlands.”

Nick Flanagan, relationship director, SME banking at Lloyds Bank, said: “Despite the challenges currently facing the hospitality industry, Ever So Sensible Restaurants is a perfect example of a resilient local business which is prospering. Its focus on sourcing locally, operating sustainably, and investing in its staff has helped the Duke William to thrive in the face of rising costs and staffing shortages. This latest finance package will also further secure the businesses’ future.

“We have been by the side of the group since it was established, and we look forward to supporting them further as they grow.”

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