The six-site, citywide hummus chain and “Levantine Kitchen” Hummus Brothers, has publicly announced that it has entered administration. The company was founded in 2005 by university friends Christian Mouysset and Ronen Givon, who conceived the idea at college two years earlier.
Like so many other high street brands — albeit smaller than Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Strada, and Prezzo — a statement posted to the companies social media pages cites the now-familiar “perfect storm of rising costs, reduced demand and over-supply in the market” as responsible for rendering the business unsustainable.
The company, whose original site opened on Wardour Street in Soho 13 years ago, operated six branches in total — in Covent Garden, Exmouth Market, Holborn, and two sites in the City. It is understood that all have now closed.
“The combination of the pound falling after the Brexit vote which pushed up the costs of our raw ingredients as well as property rents and business rates going up ever higher, make the high street a very difficult place to operate in at this time,” the Hummus Bros. wrote.
They explained that over the past year, the business had tried to diversify, reacting to the economic impact of the referendum on EU membership:
We explored ways to pivot away from the high street and investigated opportunities of working in canteens of large corporates as well as taking on vans which can operate in street food markets and festivals.
We also worked with a specialist to help us launch a supermarket product in one of the major UK operators.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the business didn’t generate enough cash to keep running until we changed course so, very reluctantly and sadly, we had to close the business.
The administrators — Resolve Partners — have been appointed to manage Hummus Brothers affairs relating to both business and property.
At the half-way point of the year, 2018 has so far been unforgiving for the restaurant industry. And, in spite of so many new openings announced in tandem, it is feared that as the typically slower summer months further affect trading, more closures will be announced.