London restaurant and bar groups report record Christmas sales

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

D&D London's restaurant Avenue was one of its strongest performers during the festive period
D&D London's restaurant Avenue was one of its strongest performers during the festive period

Related tags: City pub company, Inn

London-based restaurant and pub operators, including D&D London and Capital Pub Company have reported record trading figures over the Christmas period.

D&D London, which operates more than 30 restaurants in the capital, said overall sales for December were up 14 per cent on the previous year. Like-for-like sales were up 10 per cent for the same period.

In November, the restaurant group announced plans to open its first site in Scotland​ at the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow. D&D London also runs two sites at the Trinity Centre in Leeds.

Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO of D&D London, believed the company’s “exceptionally strong” Christmas came from a combination of increased covers and growth in spending, with Champagne sales up 15 per cent on 2013.

He said: “Standout performers were our recently remodelled London restaurants Quaglino’s, Avenue and Carom, and our two restaurants in Leeds, Crafthouse and Angelica. These venues all recorded revenue growth of more than 20 per cent.” 

Sales spike​ 

CG Restaurants & Bars, which owns the five-site Dirty Martini brand, casual dining chain Fire & Stone and restaurant Tuttons, recorded a 4.5 per cent sales increase during the six weeks to 4 January 2015, against the same period last year.

Dirty Martini posted a 6.2 per cent increase in like-for-like sales for the period.

The company confirmed several more openings are planned for 2015 along with a major refurbishment at its Hanover Square venue in late February. 

City Pub Company, meanwhile, claimed to have performed “extremely strongly” across the whole of its estate during the Christmas period.

The Enterprise Investment Scheme-funded pub operator, which owns 17 pubs in the capital, said sales were up 75 per cent thanks to organic growth and the acquisition of eight new pubs. 

Business division​ 

City Pub Company is divided into two businesses. City Pub Company East consists of eight pubs with a further three being refurbished, while the West division comprises six outlets.

The most recent opening was the Temple Brewhouse on Fleet Street, which is next to its Daly’s Wine Bar. Daly’s is currently being refurbished and will reopen in February.

Chairman Clive Watson said: “In 25 years in the trade this is the best Christmas I have ever seen in businesses that I have been involved with.

“It also gives us much confidence for the year ahead, to continue our rapid expansion and acquire more pubs.”

City Pub Company also announced the appointment of Tarquin Williams as finance director from the beginning of March. William’s CV includes 15 years at Fullers, where he spent some of his time as finance controller.

The latest results continue the trend of positive Christmas sales figures​ recorded by operators. Last week, research company Horizons told BigHospitality that a number of chain and independent restaurants had reported a jump in sales.

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