Street food market operator Mercato Metropolitano is investing £35m in expansion plans, as it prepares to launch new sites in London, Europe and the US despite the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry.
The firm will open a Canary Wharf site and a second market in Elephant and Castle this summer, followed by a new site in Ilford in the autumn.
By 2025, the company is aiming to open Mercato Metropolitano sites in Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, Berlin, Lisbon and Milan.
In total, the expansion is expected to create 2,000 new jobs.
Long-term plans are also in the pipeline for new markets in smaller cities across the UK and Europe to add to its current sites in Elephant and Castle and Mayfair.
Mercato Metropolitano reported sales of almost £10m despite the impact of enforced closure and restrictions on hospitality during the pandemic.
The company’s rental agreements with tenants are based on sales rather than fixed costs, with occupiers also paying an entry fee to cover set-up costs.
Mercato Metropolitano managing director Amedeo Claris said: “We provide support to entrepreneurs and incubate start-ups to break down barriers and build a thriving economy.
“Likewise, we secure properties for our markets from landlords who truly understand the importance of business sustainability and accept to work with us in the same way as we work with our trading partners.
“Ultimately, we are developing a sustainable business model that aims to shorten the food supply chain, make quality food more affordable, and promote the importance of communal eating as a catalyst for social cohesion.”