Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Andrew Page, the Restaurant Group

06 December 2012
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Andrew Page, the Restaurant Group

Overall ranking: 21 (ranked 11 in 2011)
Restaurateur ranking: 7 (ranked 4 in 2011)

Andrew Page - Snapshot

Andrew Page is chief executive officer of the Restaurant Group (TRG), which has over 400 restaurants and pub restaurants. TRG's principal trading brands are Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito and Garfunkel's although the group has recently launched a new concept, Coast to Coast. In addition it operates over 40 pub restaurants (including the Brunning and Price group of pubs) as well as over 60 sites in its concessions business, which trades principally at major UK airports. During 2011 TRG's revenues grew 7.25% to £487m (2010: £454m), adjusted profit before tax grew 12% to £60.3m (2010: £54.0m). It opened 25 new restaurants and served 39 million meals. Some 25-30 further sites are planned for 2012. After 43 weeks trade in 2012, total sales are 8.25% ahead of the comparable period in 2011 and like-for-like sales are 3.5% ahead. Up to October, the group has opened 16 new sites this year.

Andrew Page - Career guide

Andrew Page qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and gained experience with County, NatWest's corporate advisory department, before spending six years as a corporate financier with Kleinwort Benson.

He moved into the leisure sector in 1994 as senior vice-president of corporate finance for InterContinental Hotels Group and served as finance director at Peter Eyles's Hanover International from 1998 to 1999. After a stint as finance director and chairman of the investment committee at Greenchips Investment, Page became finance director of City Centre Restaurants (CCR) in June 2001. CCR became TRG in 2004.

Page was promoted to group managing director in December 2003 when chief executive Andrew Guy moved on, and rose to chief executive in January 2006 when executive chairman Alan Jackson moved to a non-executive role.

Page served as senior independent director at Arena Leisure from December 2008, retiring in March 2012 when Arena was taken over.

Andrew Page - What we think

In the past few years TRG took the strategic decision to minimise exposure to the UK high street, but then found itself facing an unexpected challenge from pub operator Mitchells & Butlers in its leisure-park heartland (TRG's 200+ Frankie & Benny's are mostly in retail and leisure locations).

In response, TRG updated its Chiquito brand and converted Blubeckers sites to its Brunning & Price format (Page had bought all shares in the brand in October 2007), while opening a handful of updated Garfunkel's restaurants. In 2011, it opened the first of a new American diner concept, Coast to Coast.

Page reckons TRG's "robust business model, distinct market positioning and prudent capital structure", coupled with the company's reluctance to offer deep discounting and its focus on good value, helped it survive the difficult financial climate of the last few years.

With a steady package of openings every year it is clear the expansion of TRG's brands is seen as a key driver of the group's profitability. Its new chain of American diners, Coast to Coast now has three sites, in Brighton, Newcastle and Stevenage. All three restaurants are trading strongly and the company expects to have five in the brand by the end of the year. With 16 new openings under its belt already this year, the group insists it is on track to meet its target of 30 new sites in 2012 and that it has a strong pipeline of expansion developing for 2013 and beyond.

Andrew Page's ranking in the 2011 Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 >>Restaurant Group on target for a strong year >>

TRG on track to open up to 30 outlets in 2012 >>

The Restaurant Group records significant uplift in sales >>

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