Inside track

20 July 2004
Inside track

What business is it in? It's a Spanish tapas chain.

Where does it operate?
Nationwide and in the USA. The company has just opened its 40th UK site in Croydon, Surrey, and plans to open its third American property in early 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland.

What's its form?
The company is currently on a roll, and recently reported sparkling results for the year to 25 April. Turnover surged by 32% to £39.8m, and operating profit jumped by 27% to £5.1m.

Where is its head office and area of operation? The company doesn't have a head office. Chief executive James Horler works from home and believes his senior management team's time is better spent at the company's restaurants getting a feel for what's happening in the real world. Savings on overheads are spent on staff training.

What sort of employer is it?
The company has 1,600 employees at sites including Washington DC and Arlington, Virginia. It offers NVQ or SVQ training to its staff whether they're bartenders, waiters, chefs or managers. At the company's website,, there's a list of current opportunities by location.

How does the future look?
La Tasca will open between eight and 10 restaurants in the next financial year, with sites in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and Plymouth, Devon, launching next month. The company is also looking at the possibility of launching a second city-centre stand-alone brand in the future.

Did you know?
The company claims that 70% of its trade comes from women out with friends and keen to escape the boozy culture of some other bars and restaurants - the company sells only one draught beer, for example.

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