Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Mullins hungry for success with noodle chain Wok to Walk

Friday, 4 April, 2014
The Irish Times
by Mark Paul, Business Affairs Correspondent

The former Bord Gáis chief executive John Mullins is still hungry to succeed.

He has teamed up with his friend Aidan Murphy, the former director of golf at Druid’s Glen resort in Wicklow, to buy the master franchise for Ireland for noodle chain Wok to Walk.

At Wok to Walk, the food apparently is cooked “Beijing- trolley style” at speed under its patrons’ noses. Documents lodged in the Companies Registration Office for Augrest Holdings, the entity behind the new venture, show Mullins has a 25 per cent stake with Murphy holding the remainder.

Wok to Walk will open its first Irish outlet in the Square shopping centre in Tallaght in June, bringing the number of its restaurants worldwide to more than 60. Tallaght is a happy hunting ground for food franchises – the Dominos pizza outlet there has been that chain’s best-performing site globally for years.

I hear the plan is to open six Wok to Walk outlets over the next three years, which would create up to 90 jobs overall. Three of the outlets will be in Dublin, with others in Belfast, Galway and Cork. Mullins is, of course, a proud son of the self-proclaimed real capital and a site there has already been identified.

The two boys have already raised enough cash to get their venture off the ground, although they will apparently be looking for more investment to expand the concept later on.

Murphy will be in control of the business, with Mullins, who will be busy with his solar energy outfit Amarenco, apparently taking a back seat. It probably still beats being shackled in the stuffy semi state sector.