Case Studies

Customer story from

Initiative Group is a Bar & Restaurant Group

Industry: Food & Beverage

Location: London, Manchester, UK


Initiative Group are an ambitious Bar & Restaurant Group founded by four friends in 2016. Ralston started working with the team as they were ramping up their main bar site and an event space located in London’s trendy Mercato Metropolitano market. The team planned to open a second location at Mercato Mayfair, and secured a soft commitment to develop and open 12 new bar, cafe and dining sites across the UK in partnership with a Hotel group. This however was dependant on the team securing funding to co-invest in the project.

Ralston built a detailed investment case, and the team soon found an Investor willing to commit to the entire round, through a combination of equity and a revolving debt facility. To close the deal, the investor required professional reporting, and accurate & consistent financials to be confident the team was executing according to plan.

Solution 1 (Building a finance function from the ground up):

Ahead of the investment and the due diligence process, Ralston built a robust financial model and financial plan in a matter of weeks, from which we set up projections and daily/weekly reporting across all existing and new sites. We then started tracking daily sales performance, payments due, inventory & labour costs, and streamlined the books, identifying underperforming assets and in the process deciding to cut loss making sites.

Meanwhile, we migrated all bookkeeping and accounting to a dedicated third party accountancy, as well as successfully on-boarded and trained a Finance Manager to execute many of the finance processes going forward. Throughout this process, we met with the team on a regular basis to deliver clear performance insights and improve decision making.

Ralston helped Initiative secure £2.5M in funding and scale from £0.5M to £7.0M in Sales.

Solution 2 (Diligence and securing investment):

We worked with the investor’s diligence team through the financial and legal diligence process, as well as advised the Company on key commercial terms for the deal. The investor was satisfied with the process and the deal successfully closed in less than 6 weeks from initial point of contact. Initiative Group then secured their Hotel agreement, launched their Mayfair site, and were able to make key hiring decisions with confidence. Ralston created and tracked tight budgets through this next phase, allowing the team to expand from 2 to 12 sites in 18 months.

The plan IG and Ralston presented was the plan they continue to execute on, and we continue to support the team operationally and as advisor to the board.

“I can’t imagine our journey without Ralston. From the very beginning they gave us a wealth of knowledge, I don’t know where we would have found elsewhere. They helped us in getting investor ready and their diligence and speed got our funding over the line.”

– Thibault Bouquet, Co-Founder

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