I suppose you could call this a pivot. River Cottage are no longer opening their own restaurants - now they cuckooing in our nation's best loved tourist spots.
When you have spent all your money and the results are poor, then this is not a bad option. River Cottage raised £1m in a bond on Crowdcube for the express purpose of increasing its restaurants. This was 3 years ago. Since then the number 4 has been reduced to the number 3 - Plymouth, a flagship venue, crashed.
Now RC have 3 more 'venues' on their website. However these are not restaurants or even theirs. They are JVs with various high footfall tourist centres - cafes really. Not quite what they told investors would be happening.
Glyndebourne, Hatfield House and Whipsnade Zoo all have RC eateries - all converted from existing set ups. So low capex. But then again low margins and we have no idea currently what sort of deal they struck. The brand is ideally suited to these places so it may just be a stroke of genius. In any case its has to better than nothing.
We wrote a few pieces about this when their Plymouth unit closed down and they filed a £1m loss - here.