Mexican magic

Since the opening of its first site in London’s Covent Garden in 2007, Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca has expanded to 13 venues across the capital and has also opened a restaurant in Cardiff. The company was co-founded by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers and through the running of its various festivals, three food trucks and Mexican film and culture events, it’s considered to be a curator of Mexican culture in the UK.

It’s known for its fresh street-food-inspired menu and great-value dishes, but Wahaca’s Co-founder Mark Selby believes the company’s success is mainly down to its employees. “Finding great people to work with and giving them the tools to be innovative and inspiring is key,” he explains. “We spend time making sure that all our staff are really knowledgeable about our products so they can engage with customers to create a vibe that makes Wahaca feel special.”

  • 2007 – The year in which Wahaca opened its first site in Covent Garden

Twice voted Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Wahaca uses British ingredients where possible to re-create the flavours of Mexican markets. Its meat is sourced within the UK and all fish is caught sustainably. “Food pricing has been a challenge in recent years,” Mark reveals. “But we have worked hard with our suppliers to make sure we don’t compromise the quality of our offer, while keeping the price as low as we can.”

Another challenge has been finding the right sites for Wahaca’s new openings. “London has become very congested,” says Mark. “However, we’ve just opened in Cardiff and it’s been hugely successful, so that’s given us a great deal of confidence to keep looking at interesting cities around the UK.”