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Wimpy boss uses lockdown to give restaurants a facelift

PUBLISHED: 13:13 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:53 10 August 2020

Raj Bhangal, left, with his team at the new-look Wimpy in Colchester  Picture: CRAIG DEWAR

Raj Bhangal, left, with his team at the new-look Wimpy in Colchester Picture: CRAIG DEWAR

CRAIG DEWAR

A burger boss has invested £150k in giving his restaurants in Norfolk and Essex a fresh new look.

The new-look design at Wimpy in King's Lynn  Picture: WIMPY RESTAURANTS GROUPThe new-look design at Wimpy in King's Lynn Picture: WIMPY RESTAURANTS GROUP

Essex entrepreneur Raj Bhangal decided to take advantage of the lockdown lull to invest in his two Wimpy outlets in Colchester and King’s Lynn.

The franchisee admitted that the last few months had been “challenging”, but felt it was a good time to adopt Wimpy UK’s new SHIFT design, which features bright colours, and new seating and layouts at the restaurants, which employ a total of around 24 staff.

MORE – What was behind the big spike in alcohol and meat sales during lockdown?

“We felt this was exactly the right time to take advantage of a quieter period to carry out the refurbishment work, so we could be ready as diners return to the high street,” he explained.

“Investing in the new branding is really exciting for us and we can’t wait to show it off. We know customers love Wimpy because they can sit down at a table and enjoy food freshly-cooked to order and served by a waiter or waitress – something that sets us apart from many of our competitors.”

Raj Bhangal (right) with manager Wiki Fratczak at the newly-refurbished Wimpy Colchester  Picture: CRAIG DEWARRaj Bhangal (right) with manager Wiki Fratczak at the newly-refurbished Wimpy Colchester Picture: CRAIG DEWAR

Wimpy Colchester, based on the town’s High Street, has been in Raj’s family for the last 16 years. The refurbishment cost around £35,000, and included new counters, kitchen area and lighting, with new tables and chairs capable of seating 70 diners inside and 20 outside on the pavement.

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The facelift at Wimpy Kings Lynn, in New Conduit Street, cost £115,000. Some of the work involved tripling the outdoor seating area to give room for 50 diners, while 80 customers can be seated inside.

Social distancing measures, including hand sanitisers and screens have been put in place at both restaurants and diners can scan their orders.

Raj Bhangal, franchisee of Wimpy Colchester and Wimpy Kings Lynn  Picture: CRAIG DEWARRaj Bhangal, franchisee of Wimpy Colchester and Wimpy Kings Lynn Picture: CRAIG DEWAR

Wimpy general manager Chris Woolfenden said: “We thrilled at the changes Raj and his team have made in embracing our new design, which blends our heritage style with a fresh look to attract new generations of customers.

“The feedback from families who visit our new-look restaurants is fantastic, people tell us they love the changes and I’m sure these two restaurants will be very successful as everyone starts to get out and about again for their favourite burger.”

Raj and his father became Wimpy franchisees in 1975 and he took on the Kings Lynn franchise in 2018.

Raj is a member of the Wimpy National Franchise Council (WNFC) which gives franchisees the opportunity to help shape the future of the brand along with Wimpy management.

The new-look Wimpy Colchester includesnew chairs, tables, lighting and signage  PIcture: CRAIG DEWARThe new-look Wimpy Colchester includesnew chairs, tables, lighting and signage PIcture: CRAIG DEWAR


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