Giggling Squid, the popular high growth family of Thai restaurants, has completed work on a new site in Billericay, Essex. 

Giggling Squid expects to open its 120-seater restaurant on the High Street in Billericay in July or August, following a £50,000 refurbishment. Occupying the former Cleaver chicken, ribs and burger restaurant, next door to Waitrose, Giggling Squid will create 20 new jobs.

“Opening in Essex has been a crucial stage in our growth plans for quite some time - with its high proportion of City-bound commuters, Billericay is a great location from which to take the brand forward,” said Giggling Squid MD, adding, “Billericay people are a demanding bunch, they know what they want, they enjoy the finer things in life and go out and get them.”

Co owned by husband and wife team Andrew and Pranee Laurillard (the brand is derived from the nickname of one of their three children), Giggling Squid's formula of serving “rustic” Thai cuisine, with the emphasis on seafood, is a winning one. The pair deliberately set out to look and cook different – in a modern chic environment.

Meals are freshly prepared from scratch in the kitchen by master Thai chefs. Its healthy tapas menu, has proved universally popular, especially at lunchtime with office workers, “yummy mummies and “ladies who lunch.”

The lunch menu offers a choice of six Tapas-style 'tasting sets' that allow diners to sample several different dishes at a single sitting, costing between £8.00 and £10.50 with 16 individual dishes priced under £3.90.  “Big” dishes with rice cost £6.50 to £7.95.  “Combi” meals with starters are priced between £6.00 and £7.25. 

The evening menu is more extensive with over 50 dishes available.  The ever popular Thai Green Chicken Curry is £8.95. 

The latest acquisition takes the group's portfolio to 14 sites.  The company which introduced the “Thai Tapas” dining concept to the UK in 2009, Giggling Squid, is on course to have a nationwide string of 70 UK restaurants within 7 years.  Giggling Squid is also in advanced legal negotiations to acquire 7 more sites – five in the Home Counties, one in East Anglia and another in the Midlands.

“But ultimately we're a food-led business and are still having great fun,” said Pranee Laurillard, “We are immensely proud that our customers compliment us for still having the welcoming feel of a one-off independent, which is why people think of us as a family of restaurants rather than a chain, whilst critics love the authentic street food style dishes.”

Following the successful launch of new restaurants in Salisbury and Bristol in March, the company led by husband-and-wife team Andrew and Pranee Laurillard is now hitting an impressive EBITDA run rate of around £2m. Barclays Bank has granted a doubling of its loan facility to £4m to fund growth, as it appointed accountancy firm Grant Thornton as its commercial advisers, as part of its strategy to secure further finance for continued growth by the end of 2015.