The layout of Ping Pong’s latest restaurant, which opened within Wembley’s Design Outlet at the beginning of the month, provides customers with ‘a fresh experience and more unique atmosphere’. The company now hopes to now out the new design gradually across its nine-strong estate.
The £500k development features a cocktail bar near the entrance; the dim sum counter has been moved to the front, allowing diners to watch their meals being prepared in front of them; and they can also observe their tea being poured at a new ‘tea bar’.
The design takes reference from the traditional side of old China, with ‘more elegant’ new furniture, custom-made lighting and panelling, and iconic artwork on the walls.
“The opening of Wembley marks Ping Pong’s continued successful eight years in business,” said Ping Pong’s chief executive Art Sagiryan. “Wembley will open with new Ping Pong branding and design and I am very excited to see this come to life at such an exciting location.”
The new site is expected to turnover 2,000 covers per week at an average spend of £16 per head.
Meanwhile, Ping Pong has today reported a narrowing of losses in the year to 31 March 2013 with the company’s latest financial results showing a loss before tax of £296k, compared with the previous year’s £1.8m, which included providing for the loss on the disposal of four sites. The four site disposals ensured bank debt was cleared to allow the next phase in Ping Pong’s development.
Due to the lower number of sites, turnover fell by 7.6 per cent to £14.4m while EBITDA dropped to £1.2m, from £1.6m in 2012.
Speaking of the year to date, Sagiryan added: "The beginning of the financial year (1 April) had mixed performances across the estate, however from September 2013 Ping Pong has risen in like for like sales and profitability."
- Five weeks ending 29 September - Ping Pong finished 1 per cent above last year in like-for-like sales; and up 1.5 per cent in Gross Operating Profit
- Five weeks ending 27 October - Ping Pong finished 6.8 per cent above last year in like-for-like sales; gross operating profit up 6 per cent operating EBITDA up 8 per cent
- Five weeks ending 24 November - Ping Pong finished 7.7 per cent above last year in like-for-like sales; gross operating profit up by 7 and operating EBITDA up 7 per cent
Ping Pong's pipeline
Ping Pong closed three restaurants during the financial year due to changes in business model strategy. According to our sister title, M&C Report, Ping Pong has just secured its 10th site in the UK, after taking a site at Westfield Stratford for an opening early next year.
And in today’s announcement, the company confirmed it is looking to expand further over the next 12 months, claiming it is ‘set for the next stage of growth in its UK-based estate’.
“The trading environment continues to be challenging and remains very competitive,” reads the statement. “Despite this, the directors are satisfied with the company’s core restaurant operating performance.
“Two specific larger sites have been identified to develop and are expected to open in 2013-14, potentially as two of the smaller existing sites. The new sites are planned to open as part of a revitalised branding strategy, with a view to then updating the remaining UK estate.”