Tonks said the past 12 months had represented a “real turning point" for the seafood restaurant business with "tremendous like-for-like sales".
This year the group has opened one restaurant but has also "paused to consider what was going on in the wider industry and economy and focused on strengthening our senior team and building the pipeline for the future," according to Tonks.
“In the year we opened a fantastic restaurant in Exeter, appointed Dave Strauss as restaurant director, continued to invest in our current people and our fish supply business, including having a dedicated trawler out at sea," he says."We completed on sites in Weymouth and Poole."
Rockfish has sites in Brixham, Dartmouth, Exmouth, Plymouth and Torquay and has secured a further site in Sidmouth. The Exeter restaurant, which opened in March this year, is described by Tonks as the group's most ambitious opening to date. He also says that more locations will be announced shortly as part of the company's growth plans for 2020 and 2021.
In January the company received a £1.5m minority investment from Gresham House Ventures to support its growth, followed by a seven-figure finance facility from HSBC UK in March to support future restaurant openings.
“Rockfish continues to amaze me -it’s such a special business, consistently opening wonderful restaurants while also contributing to the local economy in areas most restaurateurs have never visited let alone considered opening in, and to the local fishing industry, " says Will Beckett, chairman of Rockfish and CEO of Hawksmoor.
"Mitch and his team have a wonderful blend of ambition and pragmatism that I think will serve Rockfish well for many years to come.”