Tayub Mushtaq used to be a customer of natural fast food chain Wrap It Up! during his days working as a stockbroker in London and loved the concept so much that he jumped at the chance to become the brand’s first franchisee when the opportunity suddenly presented itself. Two years later he took over the business following an MBO and he has been masterminding the high street chain’s expansion blueprint ever since.
Plans are in place to open up to 20 new sites over the next three years, although Tayub’s long-term ambition is to hit the 100 mark. He is already starting to prepare for that day after investing more than £1.5m into a state-of-the-art production kitchen in Stratford, which is capable of scaling with the business. No expense has been spared to source the best equipment in the market to ensure that Wrap It Up! can supply existing and new sites with wraps and food products in a faster and more cost-effective way going forward.
The chilling capacity of the CPU is eight times larger than its old set-up, while for larger liquid foods it has ditched cooking on gas burners in favour of the latest Frima multifunctional systems, resulting in reduced cooking times and labour. The latest Alto-Shaam cook and hold ovens, Foster refrigeration units, Irinox blast chillers and Faba contact grills have also been deployed to a facility that it now regards as the “backbone” of its business. “A lot of grills on the market don’t hold a full 12-inch flour tortilla flat and they are ribbed and too heavy duty. Faba is an Italian-made ceramic grill that is lightweight and industrial, which is perfect for what we do,” says Tayub.
While a lot of capital has been invested into the central kitchen, it ultimately allows Wrap It Up! to scale and build for the future. “There is a lot of scope to diversify our revenue stream on the back of this kitchen,” he says. “We’re also going to use it to go for the SALSA accreditation. That means that as well as cooking food for our own stores, we can technically cook products and sell them into the likes of Tesco.”
“There is a lot of scope to diversify our revenue stream on the back of this kitchen”