Gordon Ramsay has some big expansion plans to take his restaurant empire to the next level over the next five years.
According to Forbes, the celebrity chef — who also hosts such TV series as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” — has entered a 50-50 deal with private equity firm Lion Capital that will open 100 new Ramsay restaurants throughout the U.S. by 2024.
“I fell in love with this country 20 years ago,” Ramsay tells Forbes. “There’s a will here. My goal, right now, is to establish one of the most exciting food brands in America. Being a control freak, I needed the right partner on board. There’s a lot of businesses that don’t like that kind of stranglehold. For me, the partnership was crucial.”
As Forbes reports, Lion Capital will invest $100 million to fund Ramsay’s restaurant expansion.
Ramsay already has eight restaurants in the U.S., located in Atlantic City, Baltimore and Las Vegas, the latter city home to five separate eateries. Three of those brands — Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips — will be expanded through this new deal.
“Vegas has been the most amazing platform,” adds Ramsay. “Everyone thinks it is just full of partying and entertainment, but it’s one of the most severe and revered culinary capitals anywhere in the world. You don’t get a second shot at it.”
In addition to those brands, the deal will also develop two new concepts for the U.S. market: Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza and Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen, which Ramsay, 52, describes as “a modern Cheesecake Factory” that already has successful locations in London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore.
“It may seem aggressive, but we’re not opening up 80 or 90 of the same restaurant,” Ramsay adds. “We’re crossing over with a multilayered brand. That’s the bit that I’ve worked hard at. We’ve divided and conquered.”
Explaining why he decided to enter a partnership instead of striking out on his own, Ramsay is pragmatic. “I wasn’t ready to pedal this bike up a hill on my own,” he explains. “That would take me another 15 years. Let’s get this thing done.”