Supermarket giant Tesco has expanded into the world of casual dining by taking over restaurant group Giraffe.
The retailer has paid £48.6m for a 100% stake in the business, which operates close to 50 UK restaurants.
Tesco today said the acquisition forms part of a strategy to develop the space in some of its larger stores and create even more compelling retail destinations where customers can eat and socialise as well as shop.
The first Giraffe restaurant to open next to a Tesco store will be “near London”, according to the company.
Kevin Grace, group commercial director at Tesco said, “We invest in businesses that add value for our customers online or offline; as we’ve done with Harris + Hoole, Euphorium, blinkbox, and now Giraffe. We have the opportunity to develop some of the space in our larger stores to create retail destinations that offer customers even more choice. Giraffe is hugely popular with a wide range of ages and particularly families — we think our customers will love it.”
The first Giraffe opened in Hampstead in 1998 and now consists of 48 sites nationwide, including franchised sites at Heathrow and other UK airports as well as one in Dubai.
The original founders, husband and wife team Russel and Juliette Joffe, along with Andrew Jacobs, will remain in place with Russel continuing as managing director.
Risk Capital Partners and 3i have sold their combined stake in the company and are no longer involved in the business.