The parent company behind brands such as Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s has confirmed it is on track with plans to open up to as many as 50 new sites by the end of this year.
The Restaurant Group Plc expects to be immersed in a slew of kitchen projects as it pursues an expansion plan that will take the number of sites it owns to above 500 for the first time.
So far it has opened nine new restaurants this year, with chairman Alan Jackson insisting that the sites are “trading well and are set to deliver strong returns”.
He said: “In total we expect to open between 42 and 50 new restaurants this year, approximately two thirds of which will open in the second half. The quality and visibility of our new site pipeline over the next three years remains excellent.”
The company revealed at its recent AGM last month that trading for the 19 week period to May 10 had been “good”, with total sales almost 9% ahead of the previous year and like-for-like sales up 2%.
Jackson said that the group is trading in line with expectations and told investors that it expects to report a healthy first-half performance. He said market conditions pointed to momentum continuing to build well in the second half of the year.
The Restaurant Group currently operates around 470 restaurants and pub restaurants, predominantly in leisure locations and airports. As well as Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s, it owns brands such as Chiquito, Coast to Coast and Brunning & Price.