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Côte smashes £100m turnover for first time

23 May 2016 by

Restaurant group Côte passed the £100m turnover mark in its last financial year, according to figures filed at Companies House recently.

Côte Restaurants recorded a 27.3% rise in turnover to just over £108m for the year to 2 August 2015.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was also up strongly by 24.7% to £20.3m.

The business opened a further 16 restaurants during the period, taking it to a total of 68. With new openings planned in Peterborough, Edinburgh and Woking at the end of this month and next month, it now has nearly 80.

The business has been expanding rapidly since it was acquired by private equity firm BC Partners for a reported £250m from former owners CBPE Capital.

It is now owned by Taste Acquisition Sarl, a company registered in Luxembourg, and has a £20m CAPEX facility at its disposal to help fund its expansion.

At the start of this year Côte bought restaurant businesses Jackson + Rye and Limeyard for an undisclosed sum, with plans to roll out both brands.

Jackson + Rye has three London locations, in Soho, Chiswick and Richmond.

Meanwhile, Limeyard, which bills itself as an all-day American kitchen, has just one site in Ealing. Both brands were originally backed by Richard Caring.

Run by directors Paul Aitchison, Harald Samuelsson and Alex Scrimgeour, Côte hit controversy in August last year, shortly after the end of the period referred to in its latest accounts, when it was accused of "pocketing" the service charge it asked of its customers at the expense of its staff.

The business admitted that it did indeed take the service charge, but redistributed it fairly among all staff within the restaurant in question, and did not factor the 12.5% service charge into its overall annual revenue.

Eventually it scrapped its service charge altogether and trialled a variable rate of pay for staff based on how busy or quiet the restaurants were.

The controversy helped in part to inspire business secretary Sajid Javid to launch a review into tipping and service charge practices in restaurants, which has resulted in a series of proposals currently under consultation.

Sale of Côte Restaurants confirmed >>
Côte buys Jackson + Rye and Limeyard >>
Côte defends position in service charge row >>
Côte accused of "misleading" customers by taking service charge >>

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