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Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Andrew Page, The Restaurant Group

01 July 2011
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Andrew Page, The Restaurant Group

Overall ranking: 11 (ranked 27 in 2010)

Restaurant ranking: 4 (ranked 9 in 2010)

Andrew Page - Snapshot

Andrew Page is chief executive of The Restaurant Group (TRG), which has 389 sites, making it the largest independent restaurant company in the UK. TRG owns brands such as Frankie & Benny's (197 sites), Chiquito (68) and Garfunkel's (23). It groups its business activities into leisure (restaurants operating on retail parks, suburban areas and some high-street locations) and concessions, which sees it operate at 58 sites, principally at UK airports. It also has 43 pub-restaurants, mostly under the Brunning and Price format. During 2010 the group's revenues grew 7% to £466m (2009: £436m), adjusted profit before tax grew 12% to £55.9m (2009: £50.0m). It opened 24 new restaurants and served 37 million meals. Looking ahead, some 22-27 sites are targeted for 2011.
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 became a non-executive director of Arena Leisure plc in December 2008.

Andrew Page - What we think

In the past few years TRG took the strategic decision to minimise exposure to the UK high street, then faced an unexpected challenge from pub operator Mitchells & Butlers in its leisure-park heartland (TRG's 197 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.

Last year was tough, with the company's airport concession business losing £500,000 during the closure of UK airspace due to the Icelandic volcano eruption.

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 2009.

As recent results show, the TRG juggernaut continues. With a steady package of openings every year and a target to launch a further 22-23 sites in the leisure division and between two and four new concessions by the end of 2011, it is clear the expansion of TRG's brands is seen as a key driver of the group's profitability.

In short, the business is coping well in the downturn, although Page has said he recognises there are tough times ahead, he insists that: "for most people eating out has become a habitual activity". However, he does acknowledge that the company still faces challenges such as the impact from cost inflation, spending cuts and a potential rise in interest rates.

Andrew Page's ranking in the 2010 Caterersearch.com 100 >>

TRG has satisfactory start to financial year but warns of tough times ahead >>

The Restaurant Group determined to make 2010 a success >>

Restaurant eats up >>

The Restaurant Group website >>

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