A steak restaurant in the borough has found the recipe for success in tough times on the high street after reaching 10 years in business.
Hindley eatery Summat To Ate is marking the milestone with a party for its loyal supporters on November 27, a decade to the day since the place opened.
Business founder Kai Binder saw the restaurant’s most notable feature, the hot stones on tables allowing customers to cook their meat to their liking, while still at uni and decided to bring the concept to the borough once he had graduated.
He achieved his ambition, too, opening Summat To Ate on Market Street in 2009 just a few months after picking up his degree in business studies from Huddersfield University.
He said the proudest part of running his own business is having customers choose his venue for milestone moments in their lives but admitted 10 years in the restaurant industry has not always been easy.
Kai, 32, said: “The hot rocks cooking is a bit Marmite but people tend to love it. They’re often keen to tell us where they’ve had it before.
“The highlight of our 10 years is being involved in so many special occasions. We’ve had weddings, christenings, proposals, big birthday celebrations. It’s just great when people come to you for those events.
“The high street is so cut throat, you have to innovate, stay on top of your game and stay relevant. Customers give you one chance, everything has to be perfect.
“Restaurants like Albert’s have opened with crazy amounts of money involved and that piles pressure on independents to compete with them. The likes of The Coven and Casa Carlos have also disappeared.
“It’s very difficult but we’ve just had our best year of trading.”
The business has expanded over the years, with the two lower floors of the building turned into function rooms and the bar KORE welcoming customers for the first time last year.
Summat To Ate now employs around 25 people, with eight in full-time roles.
Kai said it took a long time to find Summat to Ate’s home but now he is doing business in the community where he lives he couldn’t wish for a better location.
He said: “Wigan is a great place to do business. People are very friendly.
“People have talked to me about opening in Manchester but I’ve always said I wouldn’t move my restaurant anywhere else.”