Be At One

“We were very keen to surround ourselves with the best people at all levels. We knew Piper specialised in branding and building brands and these were skills we didn’t have at Be At One”

Steve Locke, Co-Founder & MD, Be At One

Background

Be At One is the UK’s leading chain of cocktail bars. Funded by car loans and credit cards, Steve Locke, Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller opened their first Be At One bar in Battersea in 1998.

Today the chain has over 17 bars across London, sells more vodka than Hilton Hotels and uses over half of tonne of fresh mint a month for its popular Mojitos.

Be At One’s success is driven by its focus on providing the finest range of cocktails served by the best quality staff – there are currently 190 exotic drinks on the menu and the company invests £5,000 on training each of their bartenders, taking them through a comprehensive nine week training programme.

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Growing the Brand

For the three founders of Be At One, Piper’s investment has enabled them 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.

Our work with the team since investment in 2011 has focused on increasing the number of sites in London and moving outside London.

In addition Piper have helped the business to secure further debt facilities to fund the roll out; use customer insights to differentiate and develop the Be At One brand and proposition; refurbish the original estate; and finally to expand the management team to support the rollout of bars.

Since investment in 2011, Be At One has grown to 28 sites, with a target of reaching 30 sites by 2016.

Achievements

  • Be At One Battersea Opens
  • Piper invests in the eleven strong chain. Leisure veteran Mark Derry (Loch Fyne, Brasserie Blanc) joins as Chairman
  • Be At One awarded ‘Best Classic Bar’ at the prestigious Class Awards
  • New brand identify and unit design launched at opening of Be At One Guildhall. Toby Rolph joins as Finance Director. Sales growth +22%
  • First Be At One Opens Outside London in Reading. Business Grows to 17 Sites

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