Chillisauce's Michael Chidzey (MC) talks to Wahaca's Mark Selby (MS)...
MC:How did Wahaca grow from one restaurant in Covent Garden to where it is today?
MS:We started off in 2007. From the beginning my aim was to build a truly sustainable restaurant business that could be a group chain, but with individuality in each one. We wanted to grow slowly. We really didn’t want to rush anything so that we would keep hold of the family feel. We made sure we picked our teams carefully, so they enjoy the culture and that we would maintain the experience that we started with.
We’ve grown and now have 25 Wahacas. We also started DF Mexico and Burrito Mama. Tom[co-founder Thomasina Miers]and I get itchy feet if we sit around doing the same thing for too long. We both know we do burritos really well, so created grilled burrito takeaways. We know there’s a great market that loves Mexican food and the opportunity within the Mexican space is growing. We thought that we’ve got Wahaca and burritos, but nothing in the middle like a Nandos-style concept. These both offer great Mexican food, delivered very quickly so you come and leave whenever you want.
One of our big things is innovation. We're always thinking how do we keep doing things differently, bigger, better. Whether it is doing a big festival, working with different food types, using new technology - whatever it is we’re always challenging ourselves