- Sector: Food & Beverage
- Region: South East
“We started from a determination to do things differently,” explains CEO Andy. “We saw that what was missing from the food scene was that true Thai feel – energetic, informal, adventurous and truly welcoming. At our heart is the spirit of Thai mealtimes – plentiful dishes, bold flavours and exotic ingredients, to be shared and enjoyed together. This ethos remains at the heart of our operations.”
Growth in the popularity of Thai cuisine has expanded Giggling Squid’s reach: the restaurant now employs 900 staff across 35 sites. “Consumer tastes have moved beyond the traditional – they’re looking for something different. We’ve grabbed that opportunity and carved out a niche, while remaining broad enough to be economically viable,” explains Andy. “There are lots of generic operators and there aren’t very many differentiated ones. We’ve maximised on that.”
The husband-and-wife team have been strategic in their choice of locations, opting for market towns and suburbs where people are looking for high-quality, provincial dining. “We’ve taken sites where other operators haven’t made it work, and then put in our offer, which is a bit different,” says Andy.
The company’s ambitious growth plans have required heavy infrastructure investment, including the strengthening of the operations team, the development of a training programme to attract and retain talent, and establishing an in-house marketing team to drive brand awareness, attract new customers and encourage loyalty from existing ones. “It’s our priority to ensure that our guests receive the best possible experience, and team investment is vital to ensure we continue to do this alongside our growth.”