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Loungers budgets for 25 new restaurant projects

Cosy Club

Loungers has brushed off any fears that Brexit could impede its expansion plans by revealing that it has once again budgeted for 25 new sites this year. 

The chain said it continues to see “great opportunities” in the market and was in a position to be able to grow its portfolio without compromising the site economics and returns it is used to.

News of the expansion comes as the company reported record growth over the five week Christmas and New Year trading period, latest results show.

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The firm, which operates 139 café-bar-restaurants under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, reported like-for-like sales of 11% for the five weeks until January 6 in comparison with the same period in 2017.

Total sales for the period rose to £18.3m, 31% higher than the previous year at £14m.

As part of the announcement, Loungers outlined how catering to a broad, growing demographic along with successful new openings helped the sales growth across both brands.

Loungers chief executive Nick Collins said: “Both Lounge and Cosy Club delivered impressive volume-led growth against strong comparatives last year, whilst maintaining a keen focus on price and margin.

Since the beginning of its current financial year on April 23, Loungers has continued to grow with the opening of 17 new Lounges and 1 Cosy Club, bringing the total for both brands to 139.

A further seven openings are scheduled prior to the group’s financial year end on 21 April this year.

Loungers expects that each new site will create around 30 jobs, meaning over 750 new jobs will be created in total.

Clio Lounge in Bangor and Navarro Lounge in Manchester are due to open later this month and new Cosy Clubs will open in Norwich in February and Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth during March.

Mr Collins went on to say how he is looking forward to what his firm has in store for 2019.

He added: “Huge credit must go to our teams for their amazing hard work and commitment in delivering such a fantastic result. Christmas is a demanding time of year for the hospitality sector and their willingness and determination to provide great customer experiences in the communities in which we serve underlies our success.

“We are excited about the prospects for the business in 2019 and continue to see great opportunities to expand whilst maintaining our strict discipline around site economics and returns. We plan to deliver our roll-out ambition of 25 new sites per year, expanding into new regions and trading locations, bringing Loungers’ unique hospitality, culture and experience to an increasingly broad customer base.”

RELATED: Loungers adapts kitchen operations to keep pace with rapid expansion

Tags : FestiveFinancial ResultsLoungersTrading
Alex Douglas

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