Norwich and King’s Lynn-based steakhouse looks for prime spot in the North

Steve Hutton, who founded Middletons, with staff at the Norwich branch. Photo : Steve Adams

Steve Hutton, who founded Middletons, with staff at the Norwich branch. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve adams

A steakhouse brand has continued to expand across the country after investing £1.5m in its latest restaurant as it aims to target the North.

Middletons, which has restaurants in Norwich and at Middleton, near King's Lynn, where it first started, is opening a 200-seater eatery in Leicester as in a former city centre bank building.

Managing director Steve Hutton said the company was going to focus on spreading its reach across the north of England, as well as opening a site in Peterborough.

He said: 'I think we have come an incredibly long way in a short amount of time. We will be pushing close to £15m turnover this year, we will have nearly 300 staff working for us and I am really proud of what Middletons has achieved.'

A former Lowestoft College catering graduate, Mr Hutton opened his first restaurant in 2010 rebranding and refurbishing The Crown pub in Middleton.

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He said: 'I think we very much see the brand multiplying up north.

'We don't really see ourselves in London, although we have a restaurant in Watford.

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'I think our price point is a very important part of our offer and the further south you go price becomes more irrelevant because of the wealth divide.'

When the Leicester branch pens on October 14 there will be six restaurants in the chain with a further two, Manchester and Peterborough, poised to open next year.

Mr Hutton said the newest restaurant had been one of the biggest refurbishment jobs Middletons had carried out.

He added: 'I think there are a couple of things behind our success. Good locations are key, we have nicely designed restaurants, I think we spend more on fit outs than other casual restaurants, and being good value for money.'

Last year Middletons flagship Norwich restaurant was closed for 10 weeks after a fire in the kitchen caused significant smoke damage.

Middletons employs 65 in Norwich and 25 in its west Norfolk restaurant.

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