Accounts for The Seafood Restaurant Ltd, which includes the Stein family’s restaurants, hotels, retail outlets and cookery school, show pre-tax profits fell to £489,000, down from £1m in 2017.
Turnover was flat at £16.8m, while EBITDA dropped from £1.4m to £1m.
Writing in the accounts, Rick Stein Group finance director Neil McLeod says profits and turnover were impacted by “increased regulatory costs” including business rates and the apprenticeship levy.
The company is one of the largest private sector employers in Cornwall and had an average of 300 full-time staff on its books throughout the year. It says its wage bill rose 5% in 2018 to £7.5m.
The National Living Wage increased by 30p an hour for those aged 18+ in April 2018.
“The restaurant trade in the UK has had a turbulent time over the last two years and a number of chains have gone in to CVA or administration,” says McLeod.
He adds that it has become “harder to recruit hospitality staff, especially chefs”, but that the group “continues to seek opportunities that will increase profitability”.
The Rick Stein Group operates 14 restaurants in Cornwall, Winchester, Marlborough and Barnes.