Tasty warns of further restaurant closures despite sales rise

27 September 2021 by
Tasty warns of further restaurant closures despite sales rise

Restaurant operator Tasty has said it will consider permanently closing further "underperforming" sites as it emerges from the pandemic.

The group is currently trading from 49 of its 54 restaurants, which include the Wildwood and Dim T brands.

Tasty made more than 30% of its staff redundant last year and surrendered the leases for Wildwood restaurants in Oakham and Letchworth.

In a trading update Tasty said it had negotiated rent reductions and lease concessions across most of its estate, adding: "Landlords have, in the main, been extremely understanding and supportive."

It said it had avoided restructuring using a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) due to the support of landlords, but it was possible some "underperforming" restaurants may not reopen.

Tasty said hiring and retention of staff had proved "very difficult" since reopening this year, and recruitment had not kept up "with the needs of the business" as sales rose.

The company saw revenues rise 33% to £11.6m in the six months to 27 June, compared to the same period last year. Loss after tax was £2.7m, down from an £11m loss last year.

However, Tasty said sales were expected to drop during the winter with the possibility of rising coronavirus infections.

The company added: "[We] expect that the pent-up demand for eating out will naturally diminish in the winter months and any new government restrictions on dealing with the pandemic may negatively impact the group's performance. Despite these uncertainties the board remains optimistic as to the outlook for the group and expects to keep under review future opportunities for growth."

Tasty said it planned to strengthen its senior team, which includes former Cote Restaurants managing director Harald Samuelsson - who joined the board in May - before expanding the business.

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