Since taking the helm at Carluccio’s, Neil Wickers has wasted no time developing the casual dining chain’s business model to ensure it remains relevant in an ever-competitive market sector.
And that has meant plenty of exciting changes, including the creation of its first ever open kitchen, the roll-out of a grab-and-go format and the launch of its first hotel site, at the London Marriott Hotel Regents Park.
Investors will ultimately judge a CEO on their ability to grow sales and profits, and the former Pizza Express man certainly doesn’t fall short in that respect. Revenues grew 7% last year to £138m, while Carluccio’s remains “highly cash generative” with EBITDA before non-cash exceptional expenses up 7% to £15m.
In the same period it opened 14 stores in the UK, Ireland and US and continued its expansion in Dubai and Turkey under franchise, taking total storecount to 112. Neil’s latest move is to unveil a “new generation” of restaurant that conveys the ethos of the brand but brings the deli and retail area even more to the fore.
“The premise is to emphasise and enhance those brand signatures that make Carluccio’s stand out from the crowd — its artisan suppliers, fresh dishes made on site and unique combination of restaurant, food shop and deli,” he says.
Address: 35 Rose Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9EB
Tel: 020 7580 3050
Focus: Authentic Italian food
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