Overall ranking: 74
Restaurateur ranking: 22
Adam and Sam Kaye - Snapshot
Brothers Adam and Sam Kaye founded the Ask and Zizzi chains of Italian restaurants, which they have since sold, and are now operating Tasty, the holding company for dim sum chain Dim T, which is headed by chief executive Jonny Plant. Trading from six London locations, and also Milton Keynes and Winchester, the eight-strong chain was founded in 1993 and floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2006. Tasty also owns three Wildwood pizzerias.
It will shortly add a Dim T site in Chelmsford, Essex, and is to convert its Gloucester Road site in London to the Wildwood format. Unveiling its preliminary results for the year to 27 December 2009, the company said it had experienced a 15% improvement in revenue to £9.18m despite the adverse economic climate. The operating loss excluding pre-opening costs and non-trading items was £84,000 – down from £221,000 the year before.
Adam and Sam Kaye - Career history
Adam and Sam are the sons of Garfunkel’s founder Phillip Kaye, who is a Catey Special Award winner and could lay claim to being the "godfather" of casual dining in the UK. His backing contributed to the success of both Ask and the Prezzo pizza group founded by his nephew, Jonathan Kaye.
Having identified a gap at the quality end of the pizza and pasta market, the Kaye brothers opened their first Ask restaurant in London’s Belsize Park in 1993 to instant success. The chain floated on the Alternative Investment Market in September 1995 at 35p per share. They launched the more upmarket Tuscan-style Zizzi brand in 2000, followed by the first of three Jo Shmo’s US diner-style grill restaurants in 2003.
A friendly £168m takeover bid from Garfunkel’s owner City Centre Restaurants (now The Restaurant Group) was superseded in January 2004 by a £213m offer from the venture capital firms that bought larger rival PizzaExpress the year before.
The Kaye brothers served for a while as directors of Ask under the new owners. However, they had already taken their first steps towards their new venture in August 2003, when they bought the Dim T restaurant in Hampstead, which had opened in 1993.
A £2m share placing in June 2010 saw the Kaye family tighten its grip on Dim T, with Sam acquiring a further 2,075,000 shares in the company and Adam buying 625,000.
The group also revealed that major shareholder Phillip Kaye had subscribed to one million new shares and now holds 5.23% of the company’s enlarged share capital.
Adam and Sam Kaye - What we think
According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2010 the brothers are worth £110m, so Tasty is a passion rather than a financial necessity.
There is a feeling that by now Dim T could have become a larger concern than it is today, especially after the company conducted a flotation, but having built Ask into a notable chain, repeating the process is quite possibly not their intention.
Tasty’s leadership team have described 2009 as a year of consolidation for the chain, as restaurant operators across the UK fought to simply keep their custom during the recession. Having got its house in order, it's go again for the group, but with a tough economic situation set to persist it will take all of the Kayes' abilities to lift Tasty and its brands to the next level.
Adam and Sam Kaye - Further information