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Budget 'will boost Giggling Squid expansion'

25 | 03 | 13

The Budget for 2013 will help the Giggling Squid restaurant chain carry out its expansion plans, according to the company's founder.

Andy Laurillard said the Budget will positively affect the Thai restaurant's growth strategy, as the reduction in corporation tax will give the business more profit to reinvest and reduce its reliance on the bank.

Giggling Squid was originally launched in Hove, Sussex by Mr Laurillard and his Thai wife. It now has outlets in Kent, Brighton, Crawley and Oxfordshire and plans to open four more venues this year.

Mr Laurillard told EatOut Magazine: "We have established five restaurants already in the south-east. The next is launching in Reigate, with the scheduled opening in late April or early May - adding 100 employees to our payroll."

He said the rise in income tax threshold to £10,000 will help the company's part-time workforce and may encourage unemployed people to seek jobs in the catering sector, which is struggling to recruit quality staff.

Mr Laurillard also claimed the cancellation of the 3p increase on fuel will contribute to keeping suppliers' food costs down, which have been rising sharply in the past few months. He also welcomed the reduction in employers' national insurance contributions.

If the changes introduced in the Budget do encourage restaurant chains such as Giggling Squid to expand, it will also be good news for commercial kitchen equipment suppliers whose services will be in increased demand.

However, Mr Laurillard said that if the government "really wanted" to help the hospitality sector it would have cut VAT, which at 20 per cent is three times higher than in France.

He stated: "For the Giggling Squid it's vital that George Osborne’s policies strengthen the pound. A fall in sterling causes food costs to rise - which is bad, very bad, news for the Thai restaurant trade, which is reliant on imported ingredients like coconut milk, rice, lemon grass and fresh herbs not produced in the UK.”ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801561859-ADNFCR

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