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​Flat Iron Steakhouse: Carving a Path to Nationwide Growth

​Flat Iron Steakhouse: Carving a Path to Nationwide Growth

Posted by Emma on 17th Jan 2024

The journey of Flat Iron is a testament to the power of consistent growth and strategic expansion. Founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Charlie Carroll, the chain began as a pop-up venture in a London pub. It has since burgeoned into a culinary sensation, boasting weekly sales surpassing £1 million across its 14 locations.

Flat Iron's first permanent location was established in Soho, marking the beginning of a rapid growth phase. The brand's regional expansion recently added a new dimension with its inaugural site in Cambridge. Since the close of its financial year in August, Flat Iron has inaugurated another regional restaurant in Leeds and announced upcoming openings in Manchester, Hammersmith, and Victoria.

Reflecting on the financial accomplishments, Flat Iron's 2023 results reveal a striking 53% increase in sales, reaching £35.9 millionby August 27. This surge in revenue is complemented by a rise in underlying earnings to £3.8 million, up from £3.5 million in 2022. The impressive sales growth is attributed to the organic success of existing restaurants and the addition of three new locations in Westfield London, Kensington, and Cambridge, all exceeding performance expectations.

The inception of Flat Iron stemmed from Carroll's vision to fill a gap in the steak market, offering quality at an affordable price point. This vision was further bolstered in 2017 when the private equity firm Piper invested £10 million for a significant minority stake, bringing in Tom Byng, former Byron burger chain director, as a non-executive director.

In a strategic leadership shift, Carroll transitioned the role of chief executive to Byng in 2021, with Piper assuming a controlling interest in the company. Byng, emphasising measured growth, envisions significant expansion opportunities for Flat Iron, both in London and nationally, despite sector-wide challenges. The company targets opening four to five new restaurants annually, with the potential for at least 30 additional locations in London alone.

As Flat Iron continues its impressive trajectory, its commitment to growth and quality dining experiences remains at the forefront of its success story.

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