The Restaurant Group earmarks 42 further sites for potential closure

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Restaurant Group earmarks 42 further sites for potential closure

Related tags: Casual dining, Restaurant

The Restaurant Group (TRG) says it has identified a further 42 “structurally unattractive” restaurants in its Leisure division which it may look to close in future.

This adds to the 76 sites under its Frankie & Benny’s brand which it had earmarked for potential closure in March.

TRG says it is not committing to shutting of all these sites with “any immediacy” and that the restaurants have an average of six years until the earliest break clause opportunity.

But it will “continue to explore market opportunities” to close these sites earlier where possible.

It is understood most of the "structurally unattractive" restaurants are under the Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito brands. TRG also runs Coast to Coast, Garfunkel's, Filling Station, Firejacks and Joe's Kitchen as part of its Leisure arm.

It bought Wagamama in a £559m deal last year​ ​and also runs 82 separate pub retaurants and 70 concessions sites.

A TRG spokesperson says: “As leases do come up for renewal, we will take a considered and disciplined approach, on a case-by-case basis. When and if we do close sites we will always look to redeploy staff to other sites within our portfolio.”

TRG has closed 16 sites in the first eight months of 2019, including 10 Frankie & Benny’s, four Chiquito’s, one Coast to Coast and one Garfunkel, reducing its Leisure estate to 352 sites.

It has written off £115m, nearly £100m of which is related to its Leisure business, as it struggled with ‘retail structural decline’ and ‘saturated local markets’ in the six months to 30 June 2019.

Overall like for like sales rose 3.7%, but the company recorded an operating loss of £79.3m due to the impairment charge.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Casual Dining

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