Boojum opens restaurant number seven in Belfast
Mexican fast-food chain Boojum will open the doors of its latest and largest eaterie in Belfast this week. And the burrito giant's new 95-seater restaurant will also aim to start tackling the corporate catering market, as well as servicing the lunch and evening crowd in the city centre.
And the burrito giant's new 95-seater restaurant will also aim to start tackling the corporate catering market, as well as servicing the lunch and evening crowd in the city centre.
Owners David and Andrew Maxwell say there are three more stores in the pipeline, including one in a new Irish city.
They are taking over the ground floor of the building that previously housed the former Anglo Irish Bank on Great Victoria Street - their third Belfast store, and the seventh across Ireland.
The brothers took over Boojum the Mexican chain which started off in Belfast's Botanic area - last year. Andrew is also well-known in sporting circles as a former Ulster Rugby and Irish rugby union player.
The new restaurant will open its doors to the public on Thursday. "This is the largest store we have ever done," David Maxwell said.
"We loved the area, there was nothing in the area which had existing food planning, so we had to go for a change of use, which we got.
"The store size is 3,300 sq ft, and there would be about 95 seats. "We are expecting big things for the store and are excited about the potential - a good lunch crowd, and good footfall and there's lots going on in the evening."
And it pays to be one of the first customers to show up. "The first 100 customers get a free burrito and a T-shirt. And the second 100 people get a free burrito voucher," Mr Maxwell said.
The pair said business across the company is up. "We have seen really strong growth in Dublin and Belfast. The Abbey Street store (in Dublin) is doing really well, and is outperforming where we thought we were going to be."
They are now "actively looking" for more locations in Dublin and in Belfast.
"This won't be the last project we do in Belfast," Mr Maxwell said.
"In the next three weeks, we will probably announce three more stores. And one of those will be in a new city.
"The next big project for us would be opening up in a new market. That will be in the south, and it's the first time Boojum has done that in four years."
And Andrew Maxwell said the Great Victoria Street area had undergone a "revival" over the last few years.
"This area, we hope, will be busy throughout the whole day," he said.
Boojum is also using Deliveroo to serve up its burritos to the fast-food home delivery market.
And they will operate a separate kitchen at the new Great Victoria Street restaurant to deal with corporate catering orders. "We have added additional kitchen space ... with this store we have geared up to go for larger, corporate catering orders," David Maxwell said.
"The way it's set up, for us to process a large corporate order there would be zero disruption to the main line.
"Currently in the Belfast stores we don't have that luxury. It's a big step for us."