A Scottish restaurant and bar group has revealed plans to double in size, creating another 800 jobs.

Buzzworks, which already employs more than 800 people and is owned by entrepreneur Kenny Blair, revealed the plans as it unveiled a 19% rise in revenues to £29.9 million for the year to April 30, 2023.

In spite of the rise in revenues, underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell to £2.94m in the year to April 2023, from £3.95m in the prior 12 months.

Buzzworks noted the prior-year earnings figure had been “supported by the reduced VAT rate on food sales and the payment holiday on business rates”.

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The Ayrshire-based hospitality group, which already has 19 venues, said negotiations were under way on another three.

It noted that its investment in new and existing venues totalled £4.7m in the year to April 30, including the opening of Scotts in Greenock as well as further expansion into the east coast with Thirty Knots in South Queensferry followed by the opening of Herringbone Abbeyhill on London Road in Edinburgh.

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Buzzworks added that it had also invested in the refurbishment of its current portfolio including Lido Troon, Scotts Largs, and Herringbone venues at Goldenacre in Edinburgh and North Berwick.

Kenny Blair, managing director of the family firm, said: “We have stuck to our plans for expansion, investment in our portfolio and development of our people and, despite challenging conditions, we’ve had a successful year. Our formula of investing in great properties in towns and suburbs across the country, introducing our unique blend of food, drink, style and service, is one that is working for us.”

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He added: “Hospitality is an integral part of life throughout the country and, without it, our towns and cities would be pretty miserable places to live. We want to continue to invest but we’re not immune to external factors coming our way that will impact the pace for growth. Our industry is experiencing pressures from increased property costs, increased rate of pay from [the] national living wage, and general overhead inflation including energy costs. We’re trying to navigate this and won’t compromise on our high standards.

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“The goal is for Scotland to be a place where hospitality businesses thrive rather than survive - communities where jobs and careers are created for local people in venues that can be enjoyed by all. This is what will drive us forward and we are confident the good momentum we are seeing will put us in the best possible position to fulfil our ambitious growth plan.”