Kettlebell Kitchen, a healthy fast food restaurant with an outlet in Salford, has fallen into liquidation with the founder admitting that the business had overextended itself, with multiple outlets across Greater Manchester.
CEO Carley Jones founded the chain in 2017, with the first branch opened in Ancoats. The chain had sites across Manchester including First Street and Salford.
The Salford restaurant, which was located at the back of the shopping centre in Pendleton, officially closed for business on Friday, with up to 30 members of staff said to be affected. The First Street branch was also shut down, with the original establishment in Ancoats now the only one left in the Manchester area.
It comes almost days after the company announced they were expanding nationwide, with a Kettlebell Kitchen recently opened in Newcastle.
Jones first came up with the idea a few years ago as she felt there was room for more healthy eating establishments.
“Being an avid crossfitter I found it hard to find fast, healthy clean food – I knew there was a gap in the market,” she said.
However, the CEO admits healthy fast food chains are a lot more difficult to run than an average takeaway.
“It’s not easy cooking things clean and fresh whilst bigger chains can buy in sauces, and even full dishes, whereas we cook almost everything from scratch. It’s expensive to run.
“The more that open the better although unfortunately it’s a very difficult and challenging market with rising food costs, rising wage costs, rates rising, the list goes on. There’s many that have closed, I can name 4-5 health food shops in Manchester that have struggled or closed.”
A statement said the company was entering liquidation due to a number of their outlets becoming ‘unprofitable’.
Jones said: “We did hope that being more out-of-town is a differing catchment area, free parking, right next door to Pure Gym, that this unit had a really good chance but unfortunately, all we seem to have done is pillaged custom from our main Ancoats site.
“We have realised that only one Kettlebell Kitchen is needed per city, not four sites as we have done spreading our custom but raising our costs.”
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Whilst the company have decided to limit the number of outlets within Manchester, Jones still has ambitions of spreading Kettlebell Kitchen nationwide, with a new store having opened in Newcastle last week.
Jones said: “We hope to extend into different areas.
“Newcastle is the first of a franchise and we believe it can still grow despite this setback. I still believe the health revolution is here.”
Whilst plans for expansion and nationwide branches are there, Jones is aware that at the moment the priority is the Manchester staff who have lost jobs and are still waiting to be paid, a week after the due date.
“Our current focus right now is creditors and staff, not thinking about more units,” Jones said.
“We need to work on salvaging what we can. We want to save as many jobs as possible and only then we can look to the future.”