The group opened its latest pub, the Sparrowhawk, in Liverpool’s Formby district earlier this week, with the inside seating around 80 customers and a new garden room restaurant allowing for a further 70.
“The building process was not without its problems,’ said Brunning and Price’s managing director Graham Price. “Once we were in the ground we discovered running sand which entailed sinking 64 piles over 60ft deep to provide a stable platform.
“Amazingly, thanks to the team on site, it only cost us two weeks on the build schedule.”
Two more sites will open next month - The Inn at Shipley, with some 160 covers, is scheduled for 10 December; and Worsley Old Hall in north Manchester, which will have just under 200 covers, is scheduled for 17 December.
“Our property pipeline is coming along very nicely”, said Graham,” so we are going to be even busier next year, though are working hard to ensure the new openings are spaced out more evenly .”
The Restaurant Group's progress
Meanwhile, Brunning and Price’s owner, The Restaurant Group, has reported a period of ‘good progress’ in its latest financial results, with like-for-like sales ahead by 3.5 per cent in the 45 weeks to 10 November - in line with its expectations.
The group, which owns the Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s restaurant brands, has opened 21 new sites in 2013 to date. It expects to open a total of between 33 and 35 new restaurants in 2013, but anticipates that number being higher next year.
“Although the like-for-like comparatives are much tougher during November, we are confident that the business will continue to make good progress during the remainder of the year and we are on track to meet expectations for the full year,” reads today’s financial statement.
The group also said that since its interim announcement at the end of August, it has traded well, with like-for-like sales growth in both September and October.