Be At One to double in size over next five years

Jane Ryan

15 May 2018

On the heels of announcing its latest site, Be At One bar chain has announced plans to grow its current portfolio of bars to over 70 in the next five years.

The group, often spoken about as a breeding ground for young and talented bartenders thanks to its rigorous training and huge classic-based menus, currently has 32 venues – 17 of which are based in London – across the UK, and its latest marks its first move into Essex.

Securing a site in Chelmsford, Essex, on the site of the former Escedra late-night venue, Be At One will be pouring half a million pounds into the refurbishment with plans to open in late July.

‘We continue to actively seek new bars in locations that culturally match our offering, something that is incredibly important to us as a business and continue to have a strong pipeline,’ said Andrew Stones, managing director.

Founded in 1998 by Steve Locke, Leigh Miller and Rhys Oldfield, the growth for Be At One has always been based upon the company’s idea of one bar and one guest at a time – something Stones says they’re still sticking to despite the push to double in size.

Outside of London the group currently has venues in most UK cities including Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Bournemouth, Liverpool and Birmingham.

The expansion won’t just cost the group in terms of venues though, with Be At One estimating it spends £5000 on each new bartender over a nine week training course. Split into three phases, this course aims to teach two-handed service, accurate pouring and committing the 50 best-selling drink recipes to memory.

‘We aim to be the best bar by being the best hosts and know our combination of quality service, great cocktails and party atmosphere is why our guests value the Be At One experience so highly,’ said Stones.

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