Restaurant & Food news

Bob & Berts continues expansion plans as all 20 stores reopen

Colin McClean and David Ferguson, owners of Bob & Berts.

Independent food and coffee shop brand Bob & Berts plans to start opening new sites again later this year after successfully reopening all of its existing stores.

Founded in Portstewart in 2000, Bob & Bert’s is known for its distinctive style, quality coffee and fresh food offering and local community-focused approach. It now has 20 stores across Northern Ireland and Scotland and employs over 400 staff.

After closing its sites in March as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, all Bob & Berts coffee shops are now open and staff are back at work with several locations staying open until 9pm.

“We reopened our Coleraine site for takeaway only on May 18, reopened all sites in NI by the end of June and reopened in Scotland in mid-July,” said Colin McClean, co-owner of Bob & Berts. “All sites are now fully operational and stores are performing ahead of our expectations, which is really positive and shows people have missed what we offer.”

The business has introduced a number of new innovations following the lockdown, including the launch of an online ordering service through its own app, which has had a positive impact on sales. The app also allows customers to order for collection or delivery to their home or workplace within 30 minutes.

David Ferguson, co-owner of Bob & Bert’s, said: “Lockdown has given us confidence that we can deliver a takeaway service and we have seen the success of our app. We know there may be more twists and turns because of coronavirus but we’re committed to delivering a great service in safe environments to our customers.”

Bob & Berts also intends to continue with its programme of new store openings, with a store in Stirling, Scotland that was originally scheduled to arrive in April, now expected to open in October. The company is still looking for additional sites in Northern Ireland and Scotland and expects to launch its first store in the north of England in the latter part of 2021.

Bob & Berts is one of seven Northern Ireland-based companies to have received investment from BGF, one of the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in ambitious, growing companies. In 2017 BGF made a £2m equity investment into Bob & Berts to help drive the expansion of the business in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland.

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