Mikos Gyros launches franchising arm as it sets out ambitions for global expansion

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Mikos Gyros launches franchising arm as it sets out ambitions for global expansion

Related tags Greek cuisine expansion Franchising

Fast casual Greek brand Mikos Gyros has stated its intention to roll out across the UK and beyond having recently launched a new franchising arm.

The London-based group is aiming to open up to 300 sites globally over the next fives years, with around 100 of those based in the UK.

Founder Hugo Ushida tells BigHospitality ​that the brand's sucess, particularly over the course of the pandemic, has fuelled his ambition to grow the business.

"The demand for gyros is huge right now," he says.

"We opened up franchising opportunities six weeks ago and, honestly, I was expecting to have two or three serious interests in the first year. 

"Already, though, we've had discussions with four different parties, one of which has put down an offer for a first site that’s been accepted."

Mikos Gyros was founded by Ushida in 2017 and currently operates eight company-owned locations across the capital including in Brixton, Camden, Croydon, Peckham and Shoreditch, with a ninth set to launch at Ely’s Yard on Brick Lane in the near future.

While Ushida will be taking on franchise partners in London, the hope is that this new strategy will allow Mikos Gyros to establish a strong presence across the country. 

"We're looking for opportunities around the UK, including in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Cardiff. But we're also want to go to some of the smaller cities too."

Mikos Gyros's current portfolio includes bricks and mortar sites, shipping containers, pub residencies and delivery-only kitchens. 

Under franchise, the expansion will be primarily focused on permanent restaurant locations, with an emphasis on smaller, low-risk sites. 

Ushida says the simplicity of the menu, which offers a short range of gyros pittas and meals with a handful of side options, makes it optimal for scalability.

"The menu is easy to grasp. All franchisees will receive a month of intense training to understand the processes, and we will then continue to work with and monitor the franchisee once it begins opening restaurants."

At the same time, Ushida also plans to continue growing the group's company-owned portfolio.

"We love running our own sites," he says. "The aim, in the UK, is to get to point where two thirds of the estate is operated under franchises and the other third is company owned."

Talks on franchising overseas are yet to get underway, but Ushida is clear on his aims.

"I spent time living in Melbourne; it's where I first got the idea for Mikos Gyros, and we definitely want to go back and enter the Australian market. We're also targeting expansion into Europe and the US."

Mikos Gyros isn't the only Greek-focused brand currently eyeing expansion both in the UK and abroad.

Earlier this week it was reported​ that street food player The Athenian is preparing for international expansion, and also laying the groundwork to double the size of its UK estate.

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