Discover how PICNIC Liverpool went from a small local business to one of the best restaurants in the North West
2 months ago
PICNIC Liverpool have been voted best in the North West and a finalist for the UK in the Uber Eats’ Restaurant of the Year competition for the second year running.
And co-founder Sam Patterson says: “It’s given us confidence in what we’re doing, and we’re really excited.
“We have built up a loyal customer base and I think that’s shone through; and it shows how passionate we are about what we do.”
PICNIC was launched by best friends Sam and Lauren Wright in 2019.
Sam says: “We started from Lauren’s garage, transforming it into a kitchen and starting the business with orders off an Instagram account.
“The idea was to create somewhere where people could grab some food quickly that was also healthy for you, and to tackle the high street standard of fast food where there’s a lot that’s pre-frozen, there are additives and nothing’s cooked fresh.
“There’s not a single additive in our meals, we still hand-cut chips, and everything is freshly made ourselves from our burger patties to our sauces and marinades.”
PICNIC offers all the fast food favourites from burritos to pasta and rice dishes, and salad bowls to wraps and burgers: “And then we combine them with superfoods so it’s a healthier option to your average takeaway,” explains Sam.
“It’s fast food for all. We have a wide range of foods so, with us, you can be super healthy, and get one of our superfood salads, or if you want to be a bit naughty and indulge you can get one of our healthy wraps with a portion of chips.
“We don’t claim to be the healthiest but a middle ground – some people call us the ‘beautiful in between’.”
Although both Sam and Lauren had worked in hospitality from being young, it was a dramatic change of careers for the health-conscious pair who gave up their jobs as a mental health nurse and teacher respectively to put everything into their ambitious dream.
“We were 25 and we both quit our jobs on the same day which was a bit scary. We had no experience as chefs so it took us a lot of learning to get to where we are now. Initially we did the cooking but now we have a team of chefs we work really closely with.”
After transforming Lauren’s garage and launching the business, they were headhunted by the Baltic Market who asked them to do a stall. They then did a number of pop-ups at food markets throughout the next year.
They opened the premises in Smithdown Road in 2020 and the West Derby venue is next, which will make a total staff of around 45.
Sam says: “We have always been confident in the food but we didn’t expect it to light up the way it has over the last couple of years, and that has allowed us to invest in the business and watch it grow.
“We have big plans, we’re starting with Liverpool first but we do have it in mind to scale across the UK. There’s no stopping us. It’s amazing.”