The Restaurant Group hints at closing more Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito locations
Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group is considering closing more Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito locations as it focuses on the pan-Asian chain.
The company said sales at its entertainment division, which includes Frankie & Benny’s, are down 4 percent this year.
By contrast, sales at Wagamama rose 5 percent, while sales at the bar business, which owns Brunning & Price, rose 9 percent.
Closings: The Restaurant Group said sales at its entertainment division, which includes Frankie & Benny’s, are down 4% year-to-date.
The company, known as TRG and run by former HBOS bank boss Andy Hornby, said plans to close 35 entertainment venues by the end of the fiscal year were on track.
And he warned that more outlets can follow.
Meanwhile, TRG plans to open seven to eight Wagamamas a year starting in 2024.
The four recently opened branches are trading above expectations, and sales at the noodle chain outperformed the market. The shares rose 0.5 percent, or 0.2 pence, to 39.2 pence yesterday.
Casual dining brands have faced significant pressure from sharp increases in food costs and energy bills as customers face higher household bills.
And Hornby, who brought HBOS to the brink of collapse in the 2007-2009 financial crisis, has come under intense pressure from disgruntled shareholders.
Activist investors Oasis Management and Irenic Capital Management want change.
Hong Kong-based Oasis has threatened to push for his removal unless things improve.
The chief executive also suffered a riot at the annual meeting in May when 45.5 per cent of shareholders voted against his £792,000 salary package.