Even in its short life, M Restaurants has built a reputation for doings first…and differently. So it is no surprise it claims to be the first high end restaurant to turn to crowdfunding to help it in the next stage of its development. Here’s what it hopes to do with £1.5m of funding…
Founder Martin Williams has big plans for M Restaurants. Starting with a crowdfunding campaign he hopes will bring in both small and large investors to the group.
M Restaurants is looking to be the first high end restaurant group to look to crowd funding to help it move to its next level of expansion.
It is launching a crowdfunding campaign on October 3 in a bid to raise £1.5 million to help fund the launch and initial roll out of its new M Social brand, a smaller-sized concept ideal for neighbourhood dining.
M is headed up by founder Martin Williams, former managing director of the Gaucho Group, who is confident it will be able to reach its £1.5m target in a matter of days next week when it it is launched. M is working through the crowd funding platform, Seedrs, and investors will be able to spend as little as £200 to get equity in what the group said is a “double your money” opportunity on “an EIS qualified equity based investment anticipated to mature in 2019”.
Both include separate bar, and private members areas as well as its standalone Raw and Grill dining options. M Victoria also includes a dedicated Wine Shop which customers can either use as a wine merchants or buy wine to drink with their meal.
Wine trade links
The M concept has become a popular venue amongst the drinks trade and is now widely used for wine dinners, masterclasses with a host of events throughout the year, championed and devised by its wine director, Zack Charilaou. He has worked closely with Matthew Clark to devise a unique wine list that takes wines from Matthew Clark, but also works with it to build relationships with third party suppliers and producers in a new trading relationship for both sides.
The £1.5m investment will also see a larger private members lounge, M Den introduced at M Threadneedle St, more in keeping with the one already in place at M Victoria.
Williams also hopes the new round of funding will attract more high level investors to the business which already includes retired footballer Andy Cole, senior banking figures such as Marisa Drew, Mike Xenakis, formerly managing director of Opentable, and entrepreneur, Annabel Schild.
Williams said:“When we created M we made aspirational dining accessible – now it seems the right time to fund our expansion through a crowd funding platform that makes investing accessible too.”
He added: “Interest around the M brand and our campaign has been phenomenal. I am confident when we launch on Monday we will have raised seven figures in a few days.”
The M Social brand is set to launch with its first outlet in Twickenham with potentially four others planned for similar locations in and around London over the next year. Areas such as Clapham, Richmond and Notting Hill are on M’s radar.
M Social will offer a similar Raw, Grill, cocktail offer as its main restaurants and will have around 100 covers. Prices will range from £15 upwards for steaks.
Williams said the M Social concept has really come to fruition since the referendum vote when he felt smaller, more neighbourhood venues were going to be more suited to a post-Brexit market. Both in terms of what customers are looking for and for cost reasons where there is likely be higher staff, and food and beverage costs.
He said: “Prior to Brexit I was already of the view that local weekend dining out of central London was a market I was keen to capture. I am now convinced that in the current environment, this is the perfect way to grow the M brand.”
Since its launch M has also been at the forefront of new technology and on demand initiatives being trialled across the on-trade. It was, for example, one of the first restaurant partners for the premium on demand business, Henchman, which allows meals and wine to be delivered within central London well within an hour.
When making a booking, diners can choose a specific seat or table in the restaurant with its award winning “Choose a Table” technology.