The Good Egg, which serves up Jewish deli and Israeli-inspired dishes, raised over £250,000 from 244 investors in 2015. Now back for their second funding round, we caught up with founder Joel Braham to find out how the funding helped them open their first restaurant, and their plans to use this funding round to bring their unique food offering to Soho.
For those who don’t know, could you tell us about The Good Egg?
Since starting out in 2013, we’ve cooked for the Prime Minister at No.10, had a brunch dish that was voted London’s best in 2014, catered weekly for Twitter’s London HQ, been featured on Channel 4 News on Christmas Day, and successfully crowdfunded to finance the fit-out of our first restaurant – a beautiful 35-seater neighbourhood restaurant in Stoke Newington – in Nov 2015. Now, after a very successful two years, we’re excited to be opening our second site – a 100+-seater restaurant in Soho’s Kingly Court, a highly sought after spot in prime West End location.
We started serving The Good Egg’s brunch favourite Shakshuka (the dish that was voted London’s best in 2014) at sell out markets, pop-ups and residencies all over London. Through doing this, we found that London was crying out for an all-day neighbourhood Montreal deli-meets-Israeli street food offer, so we teamed up with barrister turned pastry chef, Oded, in 2013. We then set about the year-long process of finding and securing our first restaurant site in 2014.
Today, The Good Egg team serves up colourful Jewish deli and Israeli-inspired brunches, bagels, pitas and small plates – as well as a dinner menu designed to get guests sharing – alongside a drinks menu of classic American cocktails, craft beers and natural wines. Our ingredients are carefully sourced from sustainable producers whose ethos is in line with our own, like GrowUp Urban Farms in London, The Estate Dairy in Bristol and Swaledale Foods in Skipton.
What has the investment you received in your Crowdcube funding round from the end of 2014 helped you achieve to date?
As a result of the 2014 crowdfunding campaign, we were able to open our first neighbourhood restaurant in Stoke Newington, where we now serve 1,200 guests a week on average. At weekends, we have queues of eager customers willing to wait for up to two hours for brunch at The Good Egg, and a dinner service that’s often booked up well in advance.
Opening our first restaurant has also been a springboard for us to get more involved in our local and global community, and as such we’ve worked with the likes of Clerkenwell Boy and SymmetryBreakfast to raise money for the #CookForSyria campaign. These funds go towards Unicef’s Children of Syria Fund and Magic Breakfast, which provides nutritious breakfasts and expert support to over 31,000 vulnerable children every school day.
Proving our concept with our first crowdfunded restaurant in Stoke Newington has given us the platform to expand our business and secure our new Soho site, which opens in late November this year.
What has been your proudest achievement as a company to date?
Playing an active part in the fantastic #CookForSyria campaign over the last 12 months. It’s been amazing to be able to use our restaurant and brand as a vehicle to raise funds for this international fundraising initiative, which has so far raised £350k and encourages everyone – from top UK chefs to people at home – to cook and raise money in aid of UNICEF’s Syria Relief fund. We’ve donated recipes to the book, donated profits from dedicated restaurant dishes, and hosted/participated in supper clubs, pop-ups and a bake sale (where our famed babka sold out in under two hours!).
We’re also very proud of the fact that for both of the years we’ve been open, we’ve been named in TimeOut’s top 100 London restaurants.
How is your business performing against your projections in 2014 - have you hit any challenges along the way or changed direction?
Our projected sales since we opened have beaten our original projections by around 15%, and we’ve also topped our initial projected gross profit (65% target, 70% actual). There have been many challenges along the way; our restaurant in Stoke Newington is small, which means that sometimes the difference between a good month and a break-even month is a piece of kitchen equipment needing a repair, or a relatively quiet week that causes our labour percentage to go way over budget. Keeping on top of these costs is a constant challenge for our team. Having our second, much larger restaurant will enable us to spread many of the costs, currently being carried by one small restaurant, across the whole company.
You are currently running your second campaign on Crowdcube, how will these funds be used?
Right now we’re in the process of fitting out our second restaurant in Soho’s Kingly Court, led by award-winning architect firm Gundry + Ducker, who have created amazing interiors with some big London restaurants like Temper, The Palomar, Granger & Co. and The Barbary, as well as Voodoo Rays in Dalston.
Funds raised will be used for Capital expenditure and pre-opening costs for our second restaurant site: this represents the realisation of a dream, fulfilling many aspects of the business that we’ve so far had on hold at site one, such as a delivery service and our extended bakery offer.
What are your plans for the future of The Good Egg?
Since setting out to open our first restaurant, our plan has always been to open two more within five years. Now, with two successful years in Stoke Newington under our belts, we’ve started the fit out of our second site which opens this November. The third restaurant is planned to open in 2019 – we’ve been looking at sites in Shoreditch, Broadway Market, London Bridge and King's Cross. After our third site is up and running, we’ll look at our options for the next phase of the business, with the potential to expand to many more sites. Details of a provisional exit plan are in our pitch documents, available via our Crowdcube page.
Finally, if you could recommend one item off your current menu, what would it be?
It’s been there since the beginning, but our crispy za’atar fried chicken thighs with chilli honey and tahini slaw is always the thing people come back for!
You can find out more about The Good Egg and the investment opportunity by visiting the pitch page today.
Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.