Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is a fast-growing group of Caribbean restaurants which promise ‘to transport you to the Caribbean without a plane ticket’, offering authentic food and drink inspired by the islands’ vibrant culture.

The business is the brainchild of Aj Jaya-Wickrema, who co-founded Las Iguanas, a previous Piper investment, which grew from a regional operator of four restaurants into Britain’s market leading Latin American chain, delivering Piper a 6x multiple on its investment on exit in 2007.

Turtle Bay had four sites at investment, has grown to 36 sites in 2017 and will continue to open 8 sites a year.

Turtle Bay’s success is based on providing a uniquely Caribbean experience, with a centralised island bar serving rum-based cocktails both day and night, a menu that combines Caribbean spices with fragrant marinades, hot sauces, cooling chutneys and fresh fruit, with the signature jerk chicken grill at the heart of the restaurant.

The consumer appeal of the business is centred on this offer of spicy food, the emotional and flavour backdrop of the Caribbean (jerk spice, rum, reggae, relaxed and laid-back) and good value, with average spend per head being less than £20.

Piper’s investment in Turtle Bay has enabled its founders to realise some of the value they have created but retain a majority stake and have the necessary funding for the next stage of growth.

I’m delighted to be working for a second time with the Piper team. With Piper’s deep-routed experience and understanding of the sector and their on-going support I am cofident that we will create a uniquely valuable business.

Ajith Jaya-Wickrema, Founder and MD, Turtle Bay

The story so far

2010 Turtle Bay opens its first restaurant in Milton Keynes
2011 Southampton opens
2012 Nottingham opens
2013 Bristol opens
2016 Opens first overseas site in Germany
2017 Turtle Bay grows to 36 sites

Piper Podcast series: Ajith Jayawickrema of Turtle Bay

[13 Jul 2018] - Turtle Bay founder Ajith Jayawickrema, who moved to the UK from Sri Lanka at the age of 15, has revealed how singer Leona Lewis unknowingly…

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Piper invests in a caribbean restaurant chain

[21 Jun 2013] - Piper has taken a significant stake in Turtle Bay, the fast growing Caribbean restaurant group. Turtle Bay is the brainchild of Aj Jaya-Wickrema, who co-founded…

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Current investments