Increasing appetite for Lancashire restaurant

Business Finance helps The Pack pack them in

Having owned The Pack Horse in Belthorn, near Blackburn, for five years, Karl and Jo-Ann Elsworth decided it was time for a change. Although the restaurant is in a fabulous village (the highest in Lancashire), it’s off the beaten track and therefore needs to work hard to attract customers. The plan was to retain the best of the historic features of the building, while giving it a contemporary feel – to appeal to a wider range of people and encourage them to linger.

They needed £250,000 for the makeover, and independent financial broker, Reach Commercial Finance, introduced them to Reward. We were impressed by Karl and Jo-Ann’s enthusiasm for the restaurant, and their clear vision of what was needed to take it to the next level. We had no hesitation in providing the funds through Business Finance.

The husband-and-wife team knew this was a big move for them, but our quick response helped give them the confidence to go ahead. As Karl, said: “It was an ambitious project, as we had to close for three months to complete it. So we’re grateful Reward had faith in us.”

The investment has certainly paid off. The Pack Italian Restaurant & Bar, as it’s now known, has a new open-plan layout that’s increased the number of covers from 60 to 80. There’s also an extended bar area, a new entrance, and an outside terrace to take in the views of the Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill. All these changes have led to a 70% increase in like-for like sales, and enabled Karl and Jo-Ann to employ six more staff, including a new Italian chef.