Azzurri Group acquires Boojum Mexican restaurant chain

Azzurri Group, the owner of restaurant chains such as Zizzi and ASK Italian, has acquired Boojum, a burrito chain based in Belfast, with plans to expand the brand in Great Britain. Boojum, founded in 2007, currently operates 14 sites across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, employing around 300 people.

Under the deal, Boojum will join Azzurri's portfolio of brands, which includes Italian casual dining chains and the QSR group Coco di Mama. Azzurri intends to target the fast-growing Mexican fast casual segment in Britain, with the opening of the first Boojum restaurant expected before Christmas.

Steve Holmes, chief executive officer of Azzurri, said: 'Boojum is a really strong business, with devoted customers and an exceptionally talented team. By leaning into Azzurri's financial strength and platform, Boojum can seize the massive opportunity in the Mexican fast casual segment.

'Boojum is a really good fit for Azzurri as the business will add a new dimension to our portfolio given it offers a different cuisine, a different occasion and serves a younger demographic. We know the GB market well and are looking forward to working with David and the team to deliver their growth plan.'

Boojum's managing director, David Maxwell, along with the management team, will continue to oversee the operations and spearhead the expansion of Boojum into Britain.
Maxwell said: 'We are excited by the opportunity to join the Azzurri family and are looking forward to the next chapter in our history.

'I would like to thank our team for their hard work and commitment. Since Boojum was founded in Belfast in 2007, we have become Ireland's most loved Mexican restaurant chain. We look forward to working with Azzurri to successfully establish Boojum across the Irish Sea.'

Azzurri Group was acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners in July 2020 after facing challenges due to the pandemic. With nearly 5,500 employees, the group serves over 13 million meals annually through its 200 restaurants and shops.