The Restaurant Group will continue to restructure its leisure estate after axing 16 sites since the start of the year.
The company now runs 352 sites within its leisure division after exiting 10 Frankie & Benny’s, four Chiquitos, one Coast to Coast and one Garfunkel’s since January.
Eight of those restaurants were converted to Wagamamas, while five were closed as they were no longer generating acceptable cash returns. The other three were shut after their leases expired or break clauses were exercised.
TRG revealed that it expects to exit at least 50% of leisure sites reaching their next exit date, and will continue to explore market opportunities to exit these sites earlier where possible.
“Our leisure business has benefitted from our initiatives to improve food offering, service standards and brand proposition… nevertheless, the backdrop remains challenging and we continue to take a disciplined approach to our estate.”
The company said it was “making progress” in negotiations with landlords when there are lease events, having obtained rent reductions in the most recent negotiations as well as greater flexibility in lease terms.
The remaining estate has a median of six years to the first potential exit date, when either a lease expires or it can exercise a break clause.
The Restaurant Group said it was still looking for opportunities to leverage its estate and has increased the penetration of delivery sales in its core menu and virtual brands.
It is now active across 193 sites in partnership with multiple aggregators and operates two virtual brands from most sites: ‘Stacks’, which provides its customers with fully loaded burgers and ‘Birdbox’, a fried chicken brand with a southern American twist.