Food and DrinkHospitalityNewsStaff

Chopstix to Create 1,000 Jobs in 2023 in Rapid Expansion Plan

Chopstix Group, Asian quick service restaurant group, plans to open 30 new stores this year, creating almost 1,000 new jobs in the process. The rapid expansion has been fuelled by record revenues, with system sales forecast to hit over £65M by the end of FY23 (23rd April 2023), an increase of over 40% vs FY22.

Revenue is projected to rise even further in FY24, with the pan-Asian restaurant group expecting system sales to hit over £90M over the next financial year, a significant landmark for a business which was founded on an initial investment of £80,000.

Established in Camden Market in 2002 by entrepreneurs Sam Elia and Menashe Sadik, Chopstix celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. The group has grown steadily over the last two decades, before its busiest ever year of openings in 2022, when it launched 26 new restaurants, including a first ever holiday park location at Haven’s Craig Tara Park in Scotland.

The group has kicked off 2023 with the acquisition of competitor, Chozen Noodle, comprising 27 Motorway Service Area sites. Expansion shows no sign of slowing with the company boasting a strong pipeline of new sites, through both company operated and franchise ownership models, having opened new equity stores in Bracknell and Brent Cross this month and having recently secured agreements with experienced QSR operators including Sparta Foods, and trials with Haven and Butlin’s.

Jon Lake, Managing Director, Chopstix Group, said,
“We expect 2023 to be a momentous year for Chopstix Group. We’ve worked hard to build our team and fine-tune our operational processes to ensure this a highly scalable business that we can continue to grow rapidly.

“We are already the largest Asian-inspired QSR brand in the UK, and with the effectiveness of the business and the breadth of appeal our dishes boast, we’re confident that the business can continue to expand at pace and become a true household name in the next few years.”

The growth news follows the publication of CHOPSTIX’s accounts for the year to 24th April 2022 (FY22), which showed an encouraging performance in a period still impacted by COVID-19 enforced closures and trading restrictions, as group system sales were recorded at £48m, delivering a healthy EBITDA of over £7m across the trading period, through strong sales and tight cost control.

Sam Elia, Chopstix Co-Founder said,
“After several years where trading has been impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, it is highly encouraging to see such marked rises in system sales. In recent years, we have focused heavily on perfecting our back of house processes, which has really supported rapid and effective expansion in footprint, particularly through the franchise model.”
“There is significant momentum behind the company, with the acquisition of Chozen and many new sites in the pipeline we are very confident about the year ahead and beyond.”

Menashe Sadik, Chopstix Co-Founder, added:
“We believe there’s scope to reach 500 UK sites, and we also want to grow internationally through franchising. Our flexible model means we can operate in forecourts and food courts, town centres and shopping centres, holiday parks and retail parks, and we’re continuing to evolve, with airports and drive-thrus next on our list. We’re just as passionate about Chopstix now as we were twenty years ago – it’s amazing to see how far the brand has come, and there’s so much more to come.”