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The Restaurant Group serves 30 million meals in 2007

05 March 2008 by

Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) sold more than 30 million meals in 2007 and described the performance as given the slowdown in consumer spending.

The company, which also runs Chiquito's, and Blubeckers amongst an estate of 330 restaurants, pubs and concessions, said consumers spending £10 to £16 per head on eating had remained reluctant to stop despite the credit crunch.

Shrugging off worries over the global economy and a squeeze on family pockets, TRG saw a 17% increase in sales to £367m in the year and a pre-tax profit climb 22% to £67.8m.

Andrew Page, chief executive at TRG, said: "With a tighter consumer market still anticipated during 2008, we will continue to focus on giving our customers great service and value."

Page restated his commitment to open 30 to 35 sites during 2008 with up to 10 of these under the pub chain Brunning & Price, which it acquired last October for £32m.

But Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons FS, said: "Frankie & Benny's, Garfunkel's, and Chiquito are heavily exposed to the family market. When household bills start rising it's young families that are most affected, so they will naturally cut back on their discretionary spend, such as eating out.

"However, these are strong, well developed brands with good cost controls in place and while they might see trading slow throughout 2008, they are better placed than most to ride the storm and current trading remains resilient."

Hospitality can still make money during the credit crunch >>

The Restaurant Group adds new Blubeckers site to portfolio >>

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By Christopher Walton

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