Compelling experiences, national coverage and 400 million customer visits a year means intu owned shopping centres are central to the expansion plans of many top restaurant chains. Coast to Coast, Five Guys, wagamama and Boost Juice Bar in particular are benefiting from the family-friendly appeal and multi-million footfall at the intu owned centres.
Mike Butterworth, chief operating officer of intu, said: “Catering continues to be an area of significant growth in the UK and many leading hospitality chains have exciting expansion plans. Both established operators and new brands are recognising that only intu can provide truly national access to millions of customers at prime and super-regional prime shopping centres.”
He continued: “Two thirds of the UK population visit intu owned shopping centres each year to socialise, spend time with friends and family, and relax. Having the best restaurants and bars is an important part of that customer experience.”
Anticipating this demand, intu is already building, or is about to start construction work on, five new dining areas that, combined, will have space for some 55 restaurants. The five new developments are at intu Eldon Square, intu Metrocentre, intu Potteries, intu Victoria Centre and intu Bromley. In addition, within intu’s £1.3bn development pipeline over the next 10 years in the UK, schemes at intu Broadmarsh, intu Lakeside, intu Milton Keynes, intu Watford and Cribbs Causeway are at the planning stage.
Coast to Coast has signed new leases for restaurants at intu Metrocentre and intu Trafford Centre. These are in addition to previously announced agreements for space within new dining areas at intu Potteries and intu Victoria Centre. Coast to Coast brings the cuisine and tastes from along The Lincoln Highway which spans the United States from Times Square in New York to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.
Jonny Buckle, head of acquisitions, leisure of The Restaurant Group plc, which owns Coast to Coast, explains the attraction of an intu centre: “intu understands the importance of mixing dining and retail. Its centres attract strong footfall and are great places for the dining offers of The Restaurant Group. Customers welcome the choice that is available. “
Premium burger chain, Five Guys has signed a new lease at intu Metrocentre for space adjacent to a new Chiquito and opposite a new TGI Friday’s. Five Guys’ famous, freshly prepared, high quality burgers and hand cut fries are already served at intu Braehead, intu Trafford Centre and intu Lakeside.
John Eckbert, CEO of Five Guys UK, commented: “We are very excited to be opening in Intu Metrocentre. Five Guys serves an entirely fresh menu with all of our ingredients prepared the day they are served. We don’t even have a freezer in our store – no microwaves or can openers either. Every burger is custom made to order with the choice of 15 free toppings. We’re looking forward to serving our burgers and fries to Gateshead.”
wagamama, the Japanese restaurant and noodle bar, has signed leases at intu Trafford Centre and at intu Bromley in the new Queen’s Garden dining area. These two will join a list of wagamama restaurants at intu Eldon Square, intu Metrocentre, intu Derby, intu Chapelfield, intu Uxbridge, intu Lakeside, plus The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and St David’s Cardiff.
Boost Juice Bar UK has added a new juice & smoothie bar at intu Trafford Centre in addition to the two already there. Boost chief executive Richard O’Sullivan explained intu can benefit emerging brands: “I call intu Trafford Centre our mothership since it is where we began in April 2007. We already have two of the top performing Boost Juice Bars in the world at that centre. We’re now in six intu owned centres and delighted to be in The Orient at intu Trafford Centre.”
As well as three spaces at intu Trafford Centre, Boost Juice Bars are at intu Eldon Square, intu Victoria Centre, intu Lakeside, intu Bromley plus The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.
Mike Butterworth added: “intu was the first retail landlord to talk about the shift to destination status for super-regional prime centres. A good quality, varied catering offer is an important part of the reason to extend dwell time benefitting all of our tenants.”
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is owned by intu, M&G Real Estate and TJ Baylis and St David’s Cardiff is owned by intu and Land Securities.