Byron CEO: It was "screamingly obvious" the chain needed change

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Byron CEO: It was "screamingly obvious" the chain needed change

Related tags: Byron, Casual dining

The CEO of Byron has insisted the troubled chain is recovering despite recent warnings about its financial position.

Simon Cope, who joined from Wagamama last year, told The Sunday Times​ the brand was now in growth after seeing “week-on-week improvements” in sales since March.

It comes after a gloomy set of financial results​ from Byron, which has closed 19 restaurants after entering in to a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) earlier this year.

In its July update the burger brand warned it could need an additional cash injection to stay afloat if sales did not improve. The group said it could face “liquidity problems” and there was a risk it could go under if it could not obtain funding from “external sources if necessary”.

But Cope was upbeat in a recent interview. “In the past 12 weeks, every single week, we have beaten our budget,” he told The Sunday Times.

“I’d much rather take a prudent position [in our financial results] then do far better.”

He added that it was “screamingly obvious” there was action needed to save Byron when he joined last year.

“Byron provides a perfect case study of the cost of having bad locations and making bad investments,” he told the paper.

“[Previous management] had opened too many, too quickly and in the wrong locations. That’s really dangerous.

“The biggest things I found were a lack of innovation and value for money.”

Byron is left with 55 restaurants, and has since overhauled its design, service, supply chain and menu - with a greater emphasis on vegan and vegetarian options.

Results for the financial year ending June 2017 saw the group post a £55m loss on sales of £88m.

Related topics: Business

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