Sales tumble for owner of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito

Like-for-like sales at The Restaurant Group slipped 3% and almost 2% overall last year, the company revealed this morning.

Given that it posted sales of £711m last year, the drop is equivalent to around £13m by FEJ’s calculations.

Updating on its performance for the 52 weeks to 31 December 2017, the owner of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito said that it encountered a “challenging” market last year, but insisted it is making good progress against its key strategic goals.

This includes re-establishing the competitiveness of its leisure brands and investing in price, food quality and marketing to improve volume momentum.

“Our expectations around our 2018 sales trajectory remain broadly unchanged and reflect both our improving volume momentum and the significant price investments made in the middle of last year, albeit set against the backdrop of a market that has softened,” the group stated.

TRG said it has launched initiatives to enhance the guest experience, improve effectiveness of labour scheduling and deployment, and exploit new technologies.

It said it Pubs and Concessions businesses are growing well and both have a pipeline of new site opportunities.

CEO Andy McCue said: “In 2017 we made solid progress against our strategic initiatives, resulting in improved volume momentum in our Leisure business, a lower cost base and a more focused growth plan.”

At the year‐end The Restaurant Group plc operated 497 restaurants and pub restaurants throughout the UK. Its principal trading brands are Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Coast to Coast and Brunning & Price. It also operates a multi‐brand Concessions business, which trades principally in UK airports.

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