Chef Gordon Ramsay has long been plotting his US expansion. With eight US restaurants already under his belt, the Hell’s Kitchen chef had started talks last year looking for a partner, and it has just been confirmed that he has sealed a deal with private equity firm Lion Capital.
Lion Capital has bought 50% of Gordon Ramsay North America, leaving the chef with the remaining 50% ownership of the company. According to Forbes, the deal stipulates that Lion will invest $100 million over five years to build the Gordon Ramsay brand in the US. “I wasn’t ready to pedal this bike up a hill on my own. That would take me another 15 years... Let's get this thing done," Ramsay told Forbes.
Lion Capital is the private equity firm behind the wagamama franchise, and brands such as Kettle chips and Weetabix. Together they expect to open 100 new restaurants in the States on five different concepts leading up to 2024. Ramsay currently has his eponymous Pub & Grill, Fish & Chips, Steak and Hell's Kitchen concept restaurants across Los Vegas, Atlantic City and Baltimore.
Ramsay's announcement goes against the recent UK trend of restaurant chain closures - the news comes barely over a month after British chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant group went into administration, amidst claims of a tough trading environment for companies in the casual dining sector. The chef appears confident however, as he said in his interview with Forbes: "It's a very oversaturated market there, and you need to be very careful with that level of expansion... I've sat patiently, learning from other people's mistakes."
In the meantime, here's a video masterclass for Ramsay's famous beef Wellington served at his popular Gordon Ramsay Steak restaurants.