Encore invests in Mildreds vegetarian restaurant group
Encore Capital LLP (“Encore”), the London based investment firm focused on backing entrepreneurial growth businesses, has completed an investment into Mildreds Limited (“Mildreds”), the London based vegetarian and vegan restaurant chain.
Mildreds is an iconic London brand established 30 years ago. The business operates premium casual vegetarian and vegan restaurants in central London, offering a broad menu of internationally inspired food served as bowls, hot sandwiches/burgers, salads, home-style plates, and homemade desserts. The first site launched in Soho in 1988 and has since opened restaurants in Kings Cross, Camden and Dalston. The brand has a loyal and growing following, evidenced by its consistent high customer ratings and the success of new openings. The popular Mildreds Vegetarian and Vegan cook books are best sellers in their category.
The Mildreds name originally emanates from friends nicknaming founder Jane Muir, “Mildred”, from the 1945 film starring Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce. The film was about a down trodden waitress who managed to open a chain of successful restaurants. We believe the authenticity of the Mildreds brand provides a unique opportunity to continue to build a business within the high growth vegetarian food market.
Globally the trend towards vegetarian and vegan eating is very well documented. These trends have accelerated in recent years. Research suggests 6% of Britain’s population identifies as vegetarian - almost four million people – and a further 40% are ‘actively choosing to eat less meat’. This trend is more pronounced amongst a younger audience, which also has a higher propensity to eat out. Meat reduction campaigns such as “meat free Monday” and “Veganuary” and celebrity vegetarians have captured consumers’ minds. Mildreds is the most established and loved Vegetarian restaurant brand in the UK, and we believe has a unique opportunity to continue to expand – through further openings, as well as brand extension into retail and media.
Commenting on the investment, Shirin Gandhi, Partner at Encore, said: “We continue to invest in brands which capture consumer trends towards health and ethical values. We have been customers of Mildreds for over 20 years and recognise it as synonymous with Vegetarian & Vegan food in London and beyond, attracting a loyal following amongst the local population and international visitors to London. The brand has always been accessible and inclusive, not being defined by its vegetarian focus. Jane and her team have done a fantastic job and we look forward to working closely with them and we are extremely excited by the potential for continued growth.”