EXCLUSIVE: Casual Dining Group confirms new delivery brand will launch from Café Rouge kitchens

Café Rouge’s kitchens will shortly begin churning out food on behalf of the Casual Dining Group’s new delivery brand, which is set to launch in the coming weeks, as part of the group’s CEO James Spragg’s ambition to get a “slice of the action” in the delivery market.

The new delivery brand, Stack & Grill, will base its menu on the grilled cheese croques and burgers already produced in Café Rogue, and will operate from 80 of the brand’s current kitchens.

Speaking at the Casual Dining Show yesterday, Spragg said that most people will not know Stack & Grill’s food is coming out of Café Rouge kitchens.

He also confirmed to FEJ that the group hopes to adapt some of Café Rouge’s kitchens to accommodate the new delivery brand and said it will need to purchase more kit.

“At the moment Café Rouge is really busy during the day and not so busy in the evening so we’ve got enough kit to be able to cater for that for now.

“The great thing about delivery is that if you do have an amazingly busy night you can switch the tablet off and say we can’t actually take any more orders.

“The thing with delivery is that you’ve got to make sure you look after your own guests. One of the things we’ve struggled with in delivery is sending a beef bourguignon because it doesn’t travel well, and it probably does more harm to your brand. Whereas burgers and croques will go.”

A hot topic at yesterday’s show was casual dining brands breaking into the delivery market but Spragg reiterated the importance of chains thoroughly trialling new projects and concepts before rolling them out across the estate.

He said that a “bad call” in Bella Italia, which is also part of the Casual Dining Group, could cost around £250,000 in profit by the time it has been fixed.

“It’s so vital you trial things. It’s probably why start-ups will always be more innovative and nimble [enough] to jump on trends. Trial first and you’ll save yourself a whole world of pain.”

The Casual Dining Group encompasses around 300 restaurants, has 10,000 employees and a turnover of £350m a year.

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