Private equity backed Indian street food chain cooks up further expansion

Nisha Katona

Mowgli Street Food, founded in Liverpool 2014 by barrister, food writer and Indian cookery teacher Nisha Katona is planning further expansion after celebrating record trading in December.

The restaurant chain, which saw like-for-like sales surge 11.5% in December, currently operates two sites in its home city, Liverpool, one in Manchester’s Corn Exchange while a fourth restaurant in Birmingham Grand Central launched in late 2017.

All of Mowgli’s current restaurants are outperforming expectations, the company said, with the Birmingham restaurant already trading above initial projections. The next opening at Mowgli, which specialises in fresh, healthy food, will be at Westgate in Oxford and is planned for early March.

On the back of its strong trading and continued growth in run rate EBITDA, Mowgli, which is backed by investment company Foresight Group, could open as many as five new restaurants in 2018.

Potential sites in Nottingham, Leeds and another site in Manchester are being sought, while launching in London is also part of the strategic plan.

Foresight invested in Mowgli in July 2017 to facilitate a roll out of the business and brought on board experienced leisure sector executive Karen Jones as chair and Matthew Peck, former head of finance at upmarket casual dining chain Byron as finance director.

Katona, founder and CEO of Mowgli, said: “Mowgli is all about the fresh, light zing of an Indian home kitchen. The menu is entirely comprised of dishes from my family’s recipes – so this is how it tastes to dine at my grandmothers Varanasi stove.

“I take curry virgin chefs on principle and teach them one-on -one in the ancient Hindu culinary philosophy. It is utterly humbling that Mowgli has found a place in the heart of the nation.”