A new restaurant in Derby will become a flagship for the group after it announced plans to open branches in five other cities based on the same design.
COSMO Restaurants, which opened a 15,000 sq ft branch in London Road last month, has been such a success the firm plans to replicate the concept at new restaurants in Edinburgh, Preston, Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds, which open later this year.
The firm already has 13 other eat-all-you-like banqueting restaurants across the UK, but the Derby branch, which has provided jobs for 60 people, represents a new generation for the chain.
The design has been inspired by Far Eastern five star hotels and Michelin starred UK restaurants, which is reflected in the expensive stonework and marble fittings, and has moved the COSMO brand from a traditional buffet restaurant to a global banqueting experience, specialising in pan Asian cuisine.
It represents a shift in emphasis for the chain and a coming of age for eat-all-you-want restaurants, demonstrating that they can be statement destinations in their own right, but remaining true to the concept of great choice and value.
Operations director Kan Koo said: “Derby’s ongoing regeneration programme made it an obvious choice for us when choosing where to open our newest restaurant, we recognise the city has an impressive heritage, a vibrant culture and an exciting future.
“We have spent in excess of one million pounds on COSMO Derby and it is a fourth generation of our brand – and now the flagship model for all further venues across the UK.
“When we opened our first restaurant in 2003 we revolutionised the idea of a buffet and completely turned it on its head to offer freshly-cooked global cuisine at great value. Since then we’ve launched 13 other venues around the UK and have learnt some valuable lessons along the way.
“We’ve painstakingly researched every element of what makes a great dining experience, from the type of food on offer to how it’s cooked, the price and the surroundings you find yourself in.
“Here in Derby we have put all this knowledge into practice and shaken up the country’s restaurant scene yet again. We are offering the city five star dining for a fraction of the price and a restaurant which is architecturally inspiring, elegant and the future face of our brand.”
It is COSMO’s first restaurant in the East Midlands and offers diners 180 dishes drawn from global cuisines as diverse as Indian, Oriental, Brazilian, Japanese and European.
The restaurant seats 330 diners, who are able to browse 60m worth of counters featuring grills, hot plates and chilled cabinets filled with authentic dishes – including a mouth-watering 22m devoted solely to desserts and pastry – with many of the dishes prepared in front of the customer at 10 live cooking stations.
There is also an area for private and corporate events, which can be screened off for exclusivity and privacy if required, which is a new concept for the chain which previously offered only open plan dining.
Mr Koo added: “We have been almost fully-booked every evening since we opened and are over-whelmed at the response we have received from Derby diners.
“I believe this is because there are no rules or limitations, you define your dining experience – whether that’s the ultimate in fine dining with an intimate meal for two or a huge celebration with dozens of your family and friends. It’s all about choice, quality, freshness and fun – we want our guests to enjoy their food their way.
“Derby also boasts a diverse culture meaning that our dining experience, which is inspired by all corners of the earth, offers something for everyone.”
* Diners pay one price for the eat-all-you-like buffet, £7.50 at lunchtime and £12.99 at night.