Bank finance helps fund healthy restaurant group’s appetite for growth

October 31, 2013

The two University of Bath graduates behind one of the region’s most successful healthy fast food restaurant groups have secured a £65,000 funding deal with Santander to help finance further growth.

Economics graduates Griff Holland and Ed Brown started Friska in 2009 in Bristol and it has since grown from one to four restaurants around the city, including at the Bristol & Bath Science Park.

The new finance agreement will help fund a further three outlets over the next two years and also enable the founders to build up a capital reserve to use for exploring new opportunities as well as investing in staff development.

Friska’s four existing restaurants benefit from locations close to high-density workplaces. Lunchtime footfall from office workers is strong, accounting for 70% of revenue. 

Having established a strong brand and with some savvy marketing, Friska has also developed a strong revenue stream providing outside catering for local businesses.

It was recently been named runner up in the Observer Food Awards for Best Cheap Eat and Best Ethical Restaurant.

Ed is responsible for finance, systems and procedures, and sales analysis while Griff takes the lead on corporate sales and the day-to-day running of the stores.

Ed said: “We have ambitious growth targets for Friska and I’m delighted we are now in a position to be able to achieve them, having started the business just four years ago. 

“We believe we offer high-quality products and excellent service to our Bristol customers, and this has accounted for our continued success in a very competitive marketplace.”

Santander Corporate & Commercial relationship director Danny McMurdo added: “Friska is a great local business with a bright future and we are extremely happy to be working with Ed, Griff and the team.  Despite strong local competition, Friska has thrived in the past four years and we are very proud to have been chosen as its banking partner.”

The idea for Friska came to Griff in 2003 after a family holiday in the US where he had eaten healthy fast food. But it wasn’t until he met Ed that the business took shape.


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