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The Restaurant Group to close 33 sites after slide in sales

26 August 2016 by
The Restaurant Group to close 33 sites after slide in sales

The Restaurant Group is to close 33 underperforming sites following a 3.9% slide in like-for-like sales for the half year to 3 July 2016.

The operator of brands including Frankie and Benny's and Chiquito changed its chief executive earlier this month and announced a review of its strategy following a period of poor sales.

It has announced a pre-tax loss of £22.5m as a result of the £59.1m cost of the closures and poor performance in other sites for the half year.

It opened seven new sites in the period, with 24 to 28 expected to open in 2016.

The Restaurant Group said that Frankie and Benny's performance had been hit particularly hard.

It said: "We have lost value-conscious customers, a result of significant price increases and the removal of popular value offers. Above market increases in food and beverage pricing in 2013 and 2014 were compounded in 2015 by a reduction in value offers and the removal of a fixed price menu, actions which significantly reduced covers."

As a result it will attempt to address the slide by "re-invigorating the value offer" and better targeting the family market.

Chairman Debbie Hewitt said: "This has been a challenging trading period for our leisure brands, albeit with a good performance from our pubs and concessions businesses.

"The board has moved quickly to undertake a review of the operating strategy and we now have clarity on the issues facing our leisure brands, particularly Frankie & Benny's.

"A new executive team is in place to lead the implementation of this first phase of the review and to apply the learnings to our other brands."

Earlier this month it was announced that chief executive Danny Breithaupt would step down with immediate effect to be replaced by former Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue in September.

The Restaurant Group chief executive ousted >>

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