Indian street food brand The Cat's Pyjamas to open new takeaway in Leeds

The Cat's Pyjamas on Eastgate
The Cat's Pyjamas on Eastgate
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They already have restaurants on Eastgate and in Headingley.

And now Indian street food brand The Cat's Pyjamas have opened a new takeaway outlet on New Briggate in the city centre.

Review: The Cat's Pyjamas, Eastgate, Leeds
It will serve breakfasts, wraps, kebabs and curries to go.

Owner Alison White also has sites in York and Harrogate - but the business has been beset by issues during a recent expansion drive.

The chain's Sheffield restaurant, which opened in September 2018, shut in January. Alison cited difficulties with travelling from Leeds to Sheffield while caring for her baby as one of the reasons she was relinquishing the lease. She has given the Sheffield staff jobs at other sites. Plans for an opening in Wakefield have been shelved.

In October 2018, the chain entered administration, but was saved by a financial rescue package that included investment from Alison's family members. Alison said in a statement at the time:-

""There came a point over the last three months where we found ourselves in a difficult situation due to our recent high level investment into business growth and expansions, and our reliance on short-term, high-interest, crippling loans. We had a planned new site opening in Wakefield which would support our cash flow and bottom line. However, unforeseen circumstances with power problems meant the site couldn’t open fast enough.

"That, coupled with building a strong head office team to support me to run the business whilst I had my first child, resulted in a loss for the business of over £50,000 a month.

"I can hold my hands up to say that my ambitious plans were possibly a bit naive, not having the proper support around me and I got drawn into a financial situation that was not sustainable. As a new growing business it’s very difficult to get long term sustained borrowing from any source - so short-term high-interest loans are the route many go down.

"This is what we did and I felt confident I could maintain the pressure of the repayments however when things go wrong circumstances change. We have been working with accountants for the last four weeks, seeing if there was anyone out there who could help us, to first and foremost secure the 130 jobs of the amazing team members we have.

"Due to the current climate in the restaurant sector no support was forthcoming. We have managed to save the business, and it comes down to family. I am so grateful to have such an amazing personal network around me, and I appreciate that not all entrepreneurs are in this situation.

"My fiancé, Paul, who is already successful in the trade with his own businesses is heading it up, thanks to financial contributions from many family members. We have saved all jobs and all sites are fully operational.

"In hindsight I can see that as an ambitious entrepreneur bringing something new to the restaurant market I had big dreams and ambitious plans but perhaps without the right support or advice. These have been the worst few months of my life when I should have been off on maternity spending time with my daughter, Elsie. The Cat’s Pyjamas is a strong brand that I have put my heart and soul into for the last three years.

"The business is fully functioning and continuing to provide the service people know and love. I’m just sorry that we’ve had to go through this and hugely disappointed in the financial systems that have led to this, but I know the new company with my support will continue stronger.”

Just before Christmas, the Harrogate site suffered a kitchen fire.
The first Cat's Pyjamas opened in Headingley in 2015.