Hospitality entrepreneur Steven Hesketh invests in Merseyside chicken takeaway chain

Founder of Liverpool-based The Know Collection aims to grow Piri Piri Express to 12 outlets across the UK  from its current three over the next 12 months. Tony McDonough reports

Piri Piri Express founder Paulo Alves, left, with Steven Hesketh of The Know Collection


Liverpool hospitality group The Know Collection is investing in a Portuguese-style chicken takeaway chain with the aim of quadrupling the number of outlets.

Owned by entrepreneur Steven Hesketh, Know’s current portfolio includes the Richmond Hotel in Liverpool city centre and the Bridge Street Townhouse in Chester.

UK expansion

It is ploughing an undisclosed sum into Piri Piri Express which currently operates outlets in Aintree, Maghull and Southport.

The aim is to expand this number to 12 across the UK over the next 12 months via a franchise model.

Chicken with varying degrees of Portuguese spice are at the core of the menu, as well as ribs, burgers, starters and desserts, all of which are available for delivery. The business was founded three years ago by Paulo Alves.

He said: “If you were to take the trajectory of what we’ve done in the last three years and fast-forward, that would not be misleading in terms of what we want to do in the next five years.

“It’s a line of good, consistent growth and we are thrilled to not only to have the investment but the guidance from Steven and his expert team to help us on the journey.”

Growing business

The new food outlet chain will form part of the Know Collection, which is owned by entrepreneurs Steven and Nicola, and also includes the restaurant, Love Thy Neighbour and the Know Hospitality Academy for young people.

Altogether, Know Collection employs more than 120 people and turns over around £6m a year within 14 businesses.

In 2016, along with other entrepreneurs, Mr Hesketh opened District House in Water Street, Liverpool, on the site of the former Newz Bar, employing around 60 people.

However, the venue was closed in January this year after trading for just six months. It was owned and operated by a separate company called Know Restaurants Water Street which was placed into liquidation.

On the Piri Piri investment Mr Hesketh said: “Convenience, speed and great taste are at the core of what every millennial wants and Piri Piri Express epitomises what is great about this type of offering.”

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