Europe’s second largest seafood chain pushes back UK launch

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“We estimate, the recovery will take about 6-12 months” says North Food.

Earlier this year SalmonBusiness reported that the Poland-based North Food was hoping to embark on international expansion, starting with the UK.

North Food is Europe’s second-largest chain of restaurants offering fish and seafood (the first is Germany’s Nordsee) and serves up Norwegian salmon as well as Nordic cuisine. The company is owned by Michał Sołowow, one of the largest investors in Poland.

Last year, the company had signed a new 10-year lease agreement for a 140 m2 premises at the main retail area in Birmingham’s popular Bullring shopping centre. It was supposed to open early this year.

The pandemic has decimated many businesses in the HORECA industry but an easing of coronavirus restrictions in the UK means restaurants can reopen on Saturday, 4 July.

A spokesperson for North Food told SalmonBusiness that the COVID-19 situation “extremely changed our expansion in UK market” and now it wants to open the first North Fish at the end of 2020.

Have you had to make many changes to operations in Poland to your stores? What is the current status of North Food in Poland?

“Despite lockdown which took 79 days, all our restaurants are open now. North Fish restaurants are prepared and operated with increased hygiene and safety standards.

He added that North Food even opened a new site on July 1st in Lublin, Poland.

But it is not all good news, when faced with the harsh reality of restaurants in a post-pandemic world.

“If there are no customers in the shopping malls, we also don’t have them. I want to say, our revenues are really changed. We estimate, the recovery will take about 6-12 months,” he added.