Wagamama owner encouraged by post-lockdown trading

The Restaurant Group – which operates over 350 pubs and restaurants including Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s and Brunning & Price – has reported a £62.6 million loss before tax for the 26 weeks to 28 June 2020, compared to £28.1 million profit the previous year. Revenue for the period stood at £227.2 million, compared to £515.9 million in 2019.  

Since lockdown, the group has restructured its business, which involved a successful CVA resulting in the closure of 128 sites and placing its underperforming brand Chiquito into administration.

The Restaurant Group took a phased approach to reopening, with around 50% of venues trading by the end of July and 90% open as of the end of August. For the 11 weeks to 20 September 2020, the group has been encouraged by trading, despite reducing capacity by 30%, but sales were bolstered by the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme over the summer.

The Restaurant Group also implemented a new ‘pay at table’ technology to help keep guests safe at its Wagamama and pubs businesses.

"It has been an extraordinary and difficult period for the hospitality sector but one in which we have pulled together to achieve a great deal.  The priority throughout has been the safety of our colleagues and customers, and we have also accelerated the reshaping of our portfolio, resulting in a higher quality, diversified estate,” said CEO Andy Hornby.

“Since reopening, I am genuinely pleased with the strength of our trading performance and would like to sincerely thank each and every one of our colleagues for their extraordinary efforts. 

“Whilst the sector outlook is uncertain, and we are mindful of recent restrictions across the UK, we are confident that the actions we have taken provide us with strong foundations to emerge as one of the long-term winners."