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Pesto plans 10-restaurant expansion

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Pesto has announced plans to expand its brand with ten new restaurants over the coming year.

This new development will see plenty of investment as the company looks for new locations, staff and kitchen equipment. The exact amount was not given, but the final cost of the expansion is expected to run into millions.

Talking to the Manchester Evening News, co-founder Neil Gatt said: "With this investment we are hoping to breathe new life into the pub restaurant dining scene and bring our unique concept to even more customers.

"We're very excited to announce the news that we hope to duplicate our portfolio next year with these ten openings and look forward to hopefully hitting 1,000 employees by the end of 2014."

The Manchester-based franchise was founded in 2006 by Mr Gatt and Sara Edwards and currently has ten locations, recently opening its latest restaurant at the Red Lion in Harrogate. It has three operations in Yorkshire, as well as dining locations in the Manchester Trafford Centre, Liverpool One, Glasgow, Widnes, Sheffield and Tarporley in Cheshire.

In a year's time, the chain will have opened a total of 20 restaurants in only nine years, demonstrating stable growth.

Mr Gatt said the recent investment is a good sign for an industry that sees approximately 26 pubs close down each week.

Pesto currently has almost 500 employers and hopes to increase this workforce to around 1,000 with the new eateries. It will focus on developing its "Pesto in a Pub" concept - offering a unique combination of Italian tapas within a pub setting that includes cask ales.

Ms Edwards commented that customers enjoy the 'grazing-style' of Pesto's menu and the relaxing pub atmosphere, highlighting the more informal dining experience offered. She believes the chain's success has been through offering something different and that opening the tenth restaurant last month was a milestone for the organisation.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801645525-ADNFCR

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