The Restaurant Group increases product testing in wake of horsemeat scandal

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant group, Cent increase, Marketing

Delivering its annual statement today Coast to Coast owner The Restaurant Group said rigorous testing of products and suppliers was of great importance in the wake of the horsemeat scandal
Delivering its annual statement today Coast to Coast owner The Restaurant Group said rigorous testing of products and suppliers was of great importance in the wake of the horsemeat scandal
The Restaurant Group (TRG) has said it will be employing more rigorous testing of all its products following the horsemeat scandal. 

Delivering its end of year statement the operator of 422 restaurants under the Frankie & Benny's, Garfunkel's, Chiquito's and Coast to Coast​ brand, said although 'to date' it had not found any horsemeat in any of the products supplied to its restaurants, it would be upping the frequency and extent of product testing going forward. 

TRG chief executive Andrew Page said: "As part of our ongoing health and safety assurance processes we conduct testing of products and facilities at our suppliers. We have, for a number of years, retained a firm of specialists to conduct much of this testing. This testing is in addition to our suppliers’ own testing.

"In the light of the recent issues surrounding horsemeat we have, for the foreseeable future, decided to increase the frequency and extent of product testing." 

Strong trade

As in its headline trading figures released last month​, the operator confirmed that sales had risen 4.5 per cent on the previous year to £533m and reported pre-tax profits of £64.6m, up 7 per cent on the previous year. 

“The Restaurant Group produced another strong performance in 2012 with all parts of our business in growth," said Page. "Like-for-like sales were up 4.5 per cent; we delivered a 10 per cent increase in earnings per share and a 13 per cent increase in free cash flow.

"Last year, 28 new restaurants were opened; these are trading well and are set to deliver excellent returns. We are fortunate to have an outstanding team at TRG and, yet again, they worked diligently to deliver these superb results."

Page said current trading was strong with total sales up 14 per cent and like-for-like sales at 6.5 per cent for the eight weeks to 24 February 2013 and that the company was on track to open up to 35 new restaurants this year, almost half of them to be Frankie & Benny's. 

"We have an outstanding business with distinct and leading market positions, our brands are well recognised and we deliver superb value for money offerings which have wide appeal. I am confident that we are well placed to continue our further profitable progress," said TRG chairman Alan Jackson. 

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Pubs & Bars, Venues

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