Turtle Bay

“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

Background

Turtle Bay is a fast-growing chain 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 maket leading Latin American chain, delivering a 6x multiple on its investment on exit in 2007.

Turtle Bay had four sites at investment, and will have grown to 13 by the end of 2014. A further 10 sites are planned for 2015.

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.

Turtle-Bay-Website-Image-2 Turtle-Bay-Website-Image-1

Growing the brand

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.

The focus going forward will be on thinking through and planning the growth of the business, identifying the right sites to deliver successful openings and defining how to build uniquely loyal staff that can help deliver the right Turtle Bay experience and thereby help grow the business and protect its unique DNA.

Achievements

  • Turtle Bay opens its first restaurant in Milton Keynes
  • Southampton opens
  • Nottingham opens
  • Bristol opens. A further 5 sites in the pipeline

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