Rabbie’s tours owner motors ahead with cafe plans

Rabbie’s Small Group Tours owner Robin Worsnop is to fulfil a life-long dream by opening his own chain of cafés.

Robin Worsnop is fulfilling a life-long dream with cafe plan
Robin Worsnop is fulfilling a life-long dream with cafe plan

Worsnop, who founded Rabbie’s in 1993, will open his first outlet on Edinburgh’s Waterloo Place next month.

He already has his eye on further branches in Dublin, Glasgow and London.

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The cafés will be open to the public, as well as providing refreshments for visitors on Rabbie’s tours.

In future, Worsnop said that he hoped to open cafés in other British cities and then use the sites as starting points for further tours.

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Hazel Rickett was appointed last year as managing director at Rabbie’s tour business, which grew turnover by 40 per cent last year to £4.8 million.

Worsnop said: “I wanted to open a café 17 years ago but I didn’t have the time or the money to do it then. I had to concentrate on building the tour business, which we have done very successfully.

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“Now Hazel Rickett has taken over the day-to-day running of the business, it has given me enough time to focus on building the brand in other ways.

“If we can emulate recent growth rates and further develop innovative products, Rabbie’s will become a £200m business in ten years.”

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Worsnop also plans to hire out a room above the café, which has views down Princes Street and which will be renamed the “Burns Room”.

He added that he hopes to capitalise on demand among tourists for eateries in Edinburgh city centre that have longer opening hours.

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Rabbie’s carried in excess of 50,000 passengers in 2012 from countries including Australia, Canada, China, Germany and the United States on more than 4,000 tours.