Southsea restaurant The Messy Chef expands into Havant with the first 100 customers getting free burgers

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A popular burger hotspot in Southsea is opening a new restaurant today - while offering a delicious giveaway to customers.

The Messy Chef in Festing Road has started to welcome people into the new location in Market Parade, Havant, this morning. Mine Sonam Rahman, co-owner of the business alongside Nur Ayman Aziz Fahad, said vouchers are being handed out to residents, and the first 100 people to come to the restaurant on Sunday and redeem a code will get a free burger.

The entrepreneur added that expanding into Havant was a no-brainer. He told The News: "A lot of customers came to us all the way from Havant, Waterlooville and Hayling Island. So when we got the opportunity with this location, we thought it would be a good place to cater for those customers, so they do not have to travel to Portsmouth. They can enjoy Messy Chef from their home.

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The Messy Chef is expanding to Havant following the success of their Southsea restaurant. Pictured are owners Sonam and Ayman. Picture: Habibur RahmanThe Messy Chef is expanding to Havant following the success of their Southsea restaurant. Pictured are owners Sonam and Ayman. Picture: Habibur Rahman
The Messy Chef is expanding to Havant following the success of their Southsea restaurant. Pictured are owners Sonam and Ayman. Picture: Habibur Rahman | Habibur Rahman

“I’m really happy but it has been very stressful. This is the first time me and my partner are looking after two different locations. We’re very excited to serve a new community and see how the business fares when serving a completely different demographic." The Messy Chef, an American-inspired restaurant with a Bangladeshi twist, opened in Southsea in 2022. They specialise in handmade smash burgers made from high-grade beef and topped with molten cheese.

Mr Rahman said he was approached by a customer who had the location and wanted to partner up with the business. “Since we already have a clientele there, we thought it would be a great location for us," he added. Mr Rahman said the Festing Road business is performing well enough financially to justify the expansion, though not entirely.

"It's tough", he added, "It’s not ideal and not doing so well that it can finance the new location completely, but the good thing is someone else was interested in partnering with us, and that helps us with the funding.”

Mr Rahman said much of the infrastructure for the new restaurant was already in place, with decoration and installing leased kitchen equipment being the main jobs to open the outlet. He added they carried out a soft launch on Friday for deliveries to test the equipment, while meeting their neighbouring businesses and giving them tasters of the food. The business owner said is confident the new restaurant will be a success. Vouchers are being handed out to people this weekend, which can be redeemed in store for free food and discounts.

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