The group, which owns the Fridays, Fridays and Go, and 63rd+1st brands announced its aggressive expansion plans while revealing that like-for-like revenue was 6% lower than 2019 for the 20 weeks ending 22 May.
The company says that eat in sales are in line with market benchmark data, with volume and pricing adjustments, limiting F&B costs increases, and hedging of utility costs limiting the impact on margins.
However, it acknowledged a more challenging environment as a result of the decline in consumer confidence and predicted that like-for-like dine-in volumes could fall by as much as 8% for the rest of the financial year, compared to FY2019.
“We are not where we expected to be, however, I am able to report a financial performance which, regardless of the arduous challenge and extreme economic headwinds being encountered presently, allows us to confidently continue with our development strategy,” says CEO Robert Cook.
Hostmore plans to open three new venues this year, including a 63rd+1st site in Edinburgh in July.
In March the company opened its debut Fridays and Go QSR format in Dundee in a bid to grow its offer beyond its core Fridays offer. It reports that it has traded ahead of expectations.
If the new concept is a success, Hostmore has said there is the potential to open around 30 more Fridays and Go sites over the next three to four years as it will enable the brand to enter less accessible locations.
“Our ambition remains that of almost doubling the size of our existing portfolio brands over the medium term as economic conditions improve,” adds Cook.
“Our relationship with landlords, coupled with a prudently managed balance sheet, provides the basis for confidence in the success of our strategy over the longer term.
“This is a great cornerstone to build upon, and our focus continues to be on extending the lifetime value of our guests by adding further to the guest experience through our three pillars of quality, simplification and relevance, which should increase the number of repeat visits per annum.”