This north Norfolk restaurant is bucking the trend in a tough economy

Bann Thai in Cromer on Church Street. Photo: Google Maps

Bann Thai in Cromer on Church Street. Photo: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

In a notoriously tough economy more and more independent businesses are being dragged under by increasing costs and less consumer demand.

But luckily in the seaside town of Cromer in north Norfolk, one business has defied the odds and is in fact expanding their business.

Bann Thai has had their popular spot on Church Street since June 2015, and have now taken over the lease on the neighbouring shop, which was previously a children's clothing outlet.

Kim Steggles is the owner of the Thai cuisine restaurant, and said: 'I think our business is flourishing because we have good food and good service, it's as simple as that really.'

Bann Thai is currently rated the top Asian restaurant and the top Thai restaurant in Norfolk on TripAdvisor, and has been for the past few years.

The authenticity of the restaurant is largely thanks to Mr Steggles' wife Belle, who is the eatery's head chef and moved to England from northern Thailand in 2001.

Mr Steggles continued: 'Between 80 and 90pc of our customers are regulars. Most of them live within 20 to 25 miles, but we have people come up from London, and one gentleman comes up from Kent for the day. He gets the train, has lunch here, walks along the Pier and then catches the train home.'

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Providing the couple's planning permission is accepted, the restaurant will be shutting for around a week in the autumn for the refurbishment of both the interior and the exterior of the new and existing restaurant.

Mr Steggles added: 'This end of the town is really thriving, a lot of which is thanks to Henry's Tea and Coffee Store. In Cromer all of the independent businesses support each other and recommend each other's places, plus we have support from the Chamber of Trade who are great.'

'This expansion is good for Cromer,' Mr Steggles added. 'We'll be taking on more staff given the bigger restaurant, and it's good to keep all the shop units occupied. It's a substantial investment we're making, but the rates and rent here are more reasonable than in the centre of town.

'What we really need down this end of town is a car park.'

The planning application will ultimately be decided by the North Norfolk District Council.