In its latest financial update, the Franco Manca and The Real Greek operator reported that it has traded in line with management expectations during April and May 2022, with new openings across both of its businesses performing strongly.
Ahead of the release of its annual results for the year ended 27 March 2022, which will be published on 21 July, Fulham Shore has set out plans for an expansion programme targeting prime locations to leverage historically low rents.
The group has opened another three locations since and plans to open another 11 restaurants in the first half of this financial year, with a target of 18 sites for the whole year.
Eight further Franco Manca sites are being fitted out throughout the UK, including in Peterborough, The Trafford Centre Manchester, Hove, Didsbury, Stockbridge Edinburgh, Windsor, and King Street in Central Manchester.
Additionally, the group has exchanged contracts on a site for Franco Manca in Lincoln and a site for The Real Greek in Gloucester Quays.
“We are pleased to report good trading during the first two months of the current financial year,” says David Page, executive chairman at Fulham Shore.
“This performance continues to be underpinned by the outstanding reputations for great value and high quality food enjoyed by both our restaurant businesses.
“Our new restaurant openings across the UK continue to trade very well, and we have an exciting pipeline of new sites for the remainder of the financial year. We continue to be very optimistic about the significant growth opportunities for new Franco Manca and Real Greek restaurants over the coming years.”
Fulham Shore added that industry-wide cost pressures have been mitigated by some menu inflation, successful negotiations on rent reviews, and by the strong trading across the group's restaurants located in suburban areas and shopping centres.
The group reported serving more than 100,000 customers per week in Franco Manca and over 40,000 per wekk in The Real Greek as tourists return to cities across the UK. However, it said that the small number of restaurants it has located in areas with a high proportion of offices still have a way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels.