The owner of pizza chain Wildwood said this morning that its food development team is working hard to make its menus “more exciting” after it was dogged by weak sales during the first half of the year.
Revenue for the six months to 30 June fell 8% year-on-year to £21.1m as it blamed “headwinds” in the casual dining market and the uncertainty of Brexit for the drop.
But the group, which runs 51 pizza restaurants and six pan-Asian sites, said it remained focused on offering choice to its customers.
Chairman Keith Lassman said the business had undertaken various initiatives to improve the food and drink offering, customer engagement and the development of its employees.
“We continue to offer seasonal specials and are constantly looking at ways of making the menu more exciting and offering additional options. We have trialled the ‘Beyond Meat’ plant-based vegan burger as part of our specials menu and this will migrate onto our main menu later this year.”
Tasty published its Christmas menus online at the end of August before most other high street chains and has already started taking bookings.
“We have established a dedicated team to handle reservations, all enquiries and marketing initiatives and are well-prepared to maximise revenue over the festive period,” continued Mr Lassman.
Despite half-year sales being down, the company’s adjusted EBITDA performance for the first six months is in-line with expectations due to tighter cost control.
Over the last 18 months it has made significant changes to the structure of the group including finance and operational team enhancement.