Restaurant group Outback Steakhouse wants to expand its presence in the South-east and is on the look-out for suitable sites.
The company has six restaurants in the region, with the latest opening at Stevenage Leisure Park in Hertfordshire and is hoping to secure additional units of more than 6,000sq ft in leisure parks, retail parks and town centre for its Australian-styled restaurants. Milton Keynes and Watford are top of the list of desirable locations, along with sites close to Bluewater and Lakeside shopping centres in Kent and Essex.
Finding sites that fill all requirements will be a challenge, admits the company's operations director, Mike Palmer.
"The 6,000sq ft unit is not the easiest to find, especially with parking and at a reasonable rent," he said. "We believe that we will have more success finding units on the newer leisure parks than on the high street."
The group has no firm plans in terms of the number of outlets it would like to see in the region.
"We are progressing one restaurant at a time and have not set ourselves any targets," Palmer added.
By Matthew Batham