| UK

Caravan poised for expansion outside of London

The coffee roaster, restaurant and bar group is seeking outlet growth outside of London and plans to boost coffee subscription and online sales in the next six months

Fleet is looking to use her experience to boost Caravan’s subscription, wholesale and online purchasing | Photo credit: Caravan


 

Caravan is planning to open its first sites outside of London and expects coffee subscriptions, wholesale and online purchasing to be ‘a big project’ over the next six months. 


Speaking at the Casual Dining 2022 trade show, Jo Fleet, Caravan’s Managing Director, said that the boutique hospitality group was looking to launch outside of the capital ‘pretty soon’ but planning was likely to take longer than usual given the difficult climate of staff shortages hindering the hospitality industry in the UK. 
 

Fleet said the coffee roaster, restaurant and bar group, which currently operates seven locations in London, is well-placed to expand given its all-day trading capabilities.  


However, like the majority of UK hospitality businesses, Caravan is having to be more creative in finding ways to retain staff while balancing expectations on pay and and flexibility. 


“Everyone wants more money of course, and it’s a fine balance as to what we can afford, but it’s more about the benefits and the perks. It’s about flexibility and listening to the team, as they have brilliant ideas,” she said.  


Caravan also anticipates growth in its coffee business, with Fleet set to use her experience in launching the Hawksmoor at Home kits during the pandemic to boost Caravan’s subscription, wholesale and online purchasing. 


“The omnichannel approach was borne out of necessity, and it was interesting how much people wanted it. It’s all about linking the restaurants with the coffee offer, but also looking at our website and ease of purchase. When we did Hawksmoor at Home, the website wasn’t built to do huge volume, so it’s about making sure the customer can buy coffee quickly and easily,” she added. 


Fleet was appointed Managing Director of Caravan in March 2022. She previously held the same position at restaurant brands Hawksmoor at Home, Flat Iron and Wahaka.


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