From fast food to fast finance

Johnson Reed
2m read

When it comes to fast food, Leo Bakir knows a thing or two, having operated a few fish and chip shops in his time in and around Manchester. Now though, he’s decided to go back to his roots by opening a Lebanese restaurant. And he needed some speedy finance help from Johnson Red to help him realize his dream.

He came to us with a sound proposition. He had acquired a down-and-out unit in the well-heeled area of Altrincham in Cheshire, in which he and his partner, Dana Haywood, have set up a fully licensed 70-seater restaurant, specializing in Middle Eastern fare.

His menu features hot and cold mezze dishes, as well as including authentic meals such as char-grilled delicacies. Leo and Dana actively encourage their customers to share dishes, which helps to make the meal a memorable occasion. Some people spend as long as three hours enjoying their food at the restaurant. And to round the meal off, the hosts even include live belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights, so at Johnson Reed we couldn’t wait to get involved.

Leo told us:

“When I looked around I saw a lot of Italian, Indian and Chinese restaurants but not many offering Middle Eastern cuisine, It’s certainly an up and coming cuisine now, especially among the people here. We are getting a lot of interest in our food from a health point of view – it’s not too spicy, there are lots of vegetarian options and everything is grilled or cooked in a healthy manner.”

Leo depleted his own funds in carrying out the considerable refurbishment that the dilapidated building needed, so he turned to Johnson Reed for help with restaurant equipment like tables and chairs, dishwashers and fridges and, of course, the all-important grills.

Taking the decision to approach us was a wise choice because he can now benefit from the tax advantages of leasing his equipment, and he knows that he can always look to us to replace elderly kit in three or five year’s time, without any hassle. He said,

“By financing the moveable items, such as equipment, we were free to invest our money in the infrastructure and utilities to allow for future expansion of a shisha bar. With all the wiring and everything now in place, it means when we are ready to open, it won’t interrupt the running of the restaurant. I can highly recommend Mark Johnson and his team. They were very helpful and sourced the right finance deal for us. They saved us a lot of the time and hassle by doing all the chasing, which allowed us to concentrate on the construction of the business.”

So yet another satisfied client can sit back, safe in the knowledge that coming to a company like Johnson Reed takes away the headaches of raising money for a venture that conventional lenders like banks would have turned into a far more cumbersome and lengthy process.