Bar operators among UK’s fastest-growing companies

The Botanist West Bridgford team

Leading bar operators are among the UK’s fastest-growing businesses, according to the latest Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table.

The New World Trading Company (NWTC) features in the list for the third consecutive year, ranked in 56th place, after achieving growth of over 60% in the last three years.

In 62nd place is brewer and bar operator BrewDog which reported UK sales up 93% year on year at the end of September which followed a 97% surge in sales in 2016. Over the past three years, its sales growth has been at 58.37%.

Signature Pubs, which operates bars and pubs across Edinburgh and Glasgow, ranks 96th in the UK after increasing sales by more than 48% over the past three years.

Now in its 21st year, the Fast Track table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales, compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

NWTC has continued to grow this year with new sites, especially for its bar-restaurant concept The Botanist which expanded to West Bridgford, Nottingham, in October (pictured).

NWTC chief executive Chris Hill said: “Achieving a Fast Track hat-trick is a massive accomplishment for us all and to know that we’re the fastest growing private pub and restaurant operator in Britain is a huge accolade.

“This year has again seen us focus on what the market wants, continuing to innovate with fresh concepts and exceed customer expectations, while empowering our people to lead the different areas of the business forward. We’re delighted to have this recognition – it’s well-deserved for all involved.”

BrewDog’s entry marks the sixth consecutive year the Aberdeenshire-based craft brewery has made the cut, a record for any company in the Fast Track’s 21-year history.

Its growth is mainly down to the brewing side of the business, with its flagship beer Punk IPA being the best-selling craft beer in the UK off-trade for the last three years and BrewDog beers currently being five of the top 10 best-selling craft beers in the UK.

Backed by its Equity for Punks crowdfunding programme, BrewDog has expanded its UK brewery and added brewing operations in Australia and Asia as well as opening 47 BrewDog craft beer bars worldwide, including 30 in the UK.

BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “Being on the Fast Track for six consecutive years speaks volumes about the thirst for awesome craft beer both in the UK and internationally, and we couldn’t have landed this incredible milestone without the support of our community of craft beer renegades.

“Our focus for the next 12 months is all about taking our mission truly global with launches into Asia and Australia and beyond, whilst continuing to support the growth of the exciting, eclectic craft beer scene in Europe. All these things and more will help us nail year #7. Roll on 2018.”

Other hospitality businesses in the top 100 include Five Guys in eighth place, hotel operator Ennismore at 19, Flat Iron restaurants at 23, Honest Burgers at 31, Giggling Squid restaurants at 60, Home Grown Hotels at 68 and Leon Restaurants at 71.

Atom Group, which owns spirits brands such as Ableforth’s and That Boutique-y Gin Company, is in 99th place after increasing sales by over 46% over the past three years.

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