Various Eateries, which operates the Coppa Club and Tavolino brands, has received an interim £2.5m payout from its business interruption insurance policy following the landmark Supreme Court ruling earlier this month.
The group said that while the payment does not entirely compensate for the loss of business over the period of the epidemic, it does support its overall liquidity, which remains strong. Negotiations with its insurance company regarding additional claims and the final claim period are ongoing.
It added that the group still intends to capitalise on the opportunities emerging from the pandemic, and management has been exploring several desirable sites for expansion across the UK. Although, given the lack of guidance as to when lockdown and other restrictions will be lifted, the company has so far chosen to hold off signing up to any new leases.
Chief executive Yishay Malkov said: "The management team and I have run restaurants through numerous crises and challenging external events and we have always come back stronger. While Covid-19 is the biggest challenge our industry has seen, we have the team, the sites and the resources to get back on the expansion trail, just as soon as the government fires the starting gun.
"We applaud the rapid roll-out of the vaccine and note the government's objective of inoculating all members of the four most vulnerable groups by 15 February 2021. Providing this is achieved, the company urges the government to help get this amazing industry, employing more than three million mainly young people, back on its feet."
The business is overseen by founder Hugh Osmond and former Strada chief executive Andy Bassadone and has 10 sites in operation.