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Gail’s to explore drive-thru outlets across the south-east of the UK

The London-based boutique bakery café chain is pursuing ‘different real estate opportunities’ across the country and is expected to follow regional expansion with its first drive-thru store

Gail's has partnered with London-based property advisor Forty Group to secure at least 10 suitable drive-thru sites | Photo credit: Narain Jashanmal

UK bakery café chain Gail’s is reportedly seeking to open its first drive-thru outlets.  

According to Propel, the Bain Capital-backed business, which opened its first store in London in 2005, is working with London-based property advisor Forty Group to secure at least 10 suitable drive-thru sites in London and the south-east within the next 12 months.

Gail’s, which has added 10 new stores since reaching its 100-store milestone across the UK in October 2022, has previously said it is keen to ‘take advantage of different real estate opportunities’ in the UK market. 

The boutique bakery café chain opened a smaller format store in London’s Kensington Arcade in October 2022 with a takeaway focus. 

Gail’s also opened its first store in the North of the UK in Wilmslow, Cheshire, in February 2023 and has two further sites slated to open in Manchester before the end of the year. 

World Coffee Portal research found the UK drive-thru coffee market increased by 104 outlets in 2022 to reach 696 sites, led by Costa Coffee and Starbucks, with 316 and 284 sites respectively, and Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons, which doubled its UK drive-thru estate last year to reach 55 stores. 

Value-focused bakery café chain Greggs is also expanding in the UK drive-thru market, adding 14 locations to reach a total of 18 last year. 

London-based Gail’s cited the success of its growing retail estate as driving sales in the five months ended February 2022. The boutique bakery and coffee chain’s revenues reached £62m ($76m) over the period, accounting for 73% of total sales for the previous 12 months.  

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