This popular fast-casual seafood restaurant is making a splash overseas, opening the first of 25 locations in the U.K. as part of an exclusive multi-unit franchise deal.
Slapfish, an American fast-casual seafood restaurant franchise, has officially opened its first international franchise location in the United Kingdom, with plans to open 25 more units across the country by 2025. Located at 11 Kentish Town Road in London’s Camden district, the 800 square-foot Slapfish location is the latest addition to the concept’s growing portfolio of 25 U.S. locations across 11 states.
Founded by celebrity chef Andrew Gruel in 2011, Slapfish started as a food truck in California offering boat-to-plate cuisine. Since that time, it has grown to 25 brick-and-mortar locations in the United States with more than 150 locations currently under development globally.
Slapfish’s U.K. franchise partner signed a multi-unit agreement to bring the concept’s Instagram-worthy seafood to demanding customers throughout the territory. SME Group PLC is a family-run organization of experienced franchisees that currently operates nearly 100 franchise locations with various fast-casual concepts in the U.K.
“After seeing other franchisees’ continued success in the United States and hearing rave reviews from customers, we knew the timing was right to bring Slapfish across the pond,” said Slapfish franchisee Aly Esmail. “U.K. customers are looking for high-quality and sustainable fast-casual options, and we are excited to introduce them to Slapfish’s flavorful, unique brand of seafood.”
Signature menu items available at the new London location include lobster taquitos, shrimp ceviche, the ‘Clobster’ grilled cheese and house-made, original dipping sauces. The fast-growing brand was featured in Food & Wine Magazine as one of the “7 Most Eco-Minded Restaurants,” named one of the “Best Restaurants for Lobster in Orange County”, and has also been featured on the Food Network, PBS and The Today Show.
“Opening this first U.K. location is an exciting step forward in our mission to make sustainable seafood approachable and affordable for consumers everywhere,” said chef Andrew Gruel, founder and CEO of Slapfish. “Aly Esmail’s legacy of proven franchise operational experience in the U.K. makes SME Group PLC the ideal partner to help us bring flavorful, healthy recipes to a whole new audience of seafood-lovers.”
Slapfish may have come at just the right time, as global seafood consumption is on the rise. By 2030, the amount of consumed crustacean is expected to increase by 20 per cent, as restaurant-goers favor the nutritional value of a seafood-rich diet.