17 of the 167-strong national group are currently offering an abridged menu that features brunch dishes, wraps, burgers, mains and sharing plates alongside hot and soft drinks.
In an update to the market, the London Stock Exchange-listed company said the aim of From our Lounge to your Lounge was “to understand if it could provide an additional revenue stream once re-opened, to help us understand operating in a physically distanced environment, to get the supply chain back up and running, to bring team members back from furlough and working, and most importantly to further energise the culture of the business and generate some excitement”.
“It has been a big success, hugely welcomed in the communities where we have opened, and we don’t rule out following up with more sites in the coming weeks. It won’t move the dial financially on a standalone basis but could potentially provide a further revenue stream when re-opened, as well as providing a service to anyone who is less comfortable eating out,” the updates continues.
The company says it has not chosen to go down the delivery route because it believes that it didn’t suit the community nature of its business. It is already considering operational changes for when it is able to re-open to drink and dine-in customers, including order-at-table technology, smaller menus and going cashless.
“We are naturally preparing to re-open, anticipating some - and potentially the majority - of sites being allowed to open in July, assuming the hospitality sector gets the go-ahead from the Government to do so, as anticipated. As a business that is used to opening a new site every two weeks, this is the kind of logistical challenge that we relish and perform well at.”
“We are in the process of planning revised layouts and removing and storing surplus furniture to allow for the introduction of the physical distancing rules. Due to the size and layout of the majority of our sites and the spread of our trade across the day parts, we anticipate being able to trade profitably with distancing rules in place.”
In early April, Loungers PLC - which also operates The Cosy Club - raised £8.3m to get itself through the lockdown period. The cash will also be used to kick-start its ambitious growth plans.
“Having continued to outperform our market immediately prior to lock-down, we are determined to emerge strongly from this period and rebuild that momentum,” says CEO Nick Collins.
“With our newly agreed debt facilities and the successful equity fundraising, we are in a strong financial position with sufficient liquidity to come through this crisis and to take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge when restrictions are lifted.”