Loungers says that targeted investment within its kitchens is paying dividends by allowing it to achieve quicker service times and improved margins.
The company, which operates 167 Lounge and Cosy Club sites, has being working through a major ‘kitchen reset’ project that has seen back-of-house improvements completed at an additional 26 sites in the past year alone.
CEO Nick Collins said: “This investment is resulting in more efficient processes, improved ticket times, better information and reduced staff turnover. Whilst this project was paused due to Covid-19 we look forward to getting it back on track.
“The combination of additional resource on the menu development side alongside investment in the kitchens will result in quicker, more consistent service for customers, improvement in our margins and better working conditions for our teams.”
Reflecting on kitchen developments over the past year, Mr Collins said that evolution in both brands has continued, benefitting from its broad menus and the fact it is not wedded to any single cuisine.
Its vegan, gluten free and allergen-friendly menus have also been increased and remain a key differentiator.
“Alongside this, we continued to add more resource to our menu development team, focusing on ingredient rationalisation and quality. Over the course of the year our dishes improved and continued to become more consistent,” he said.
Menus in both Lounge and Cosy Club were reduced for the reopening of the business after restrictions on the hospitality sector were lifted, providing it with an opportunity to understand how our customers will react to slightly less choice.
Mr Collins said a “forensic approach” to menu engineering and ingredient lists has allowed it to further gain margin and labour efficiency over time.
Last week Loungers said it plans to take on new kitchen projects as soon as it can after confirming it fully intends to maintain its strategy of opening 25 new sites a year.