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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 17th Nov 2014 - Loungers ‘still picking off low-hanging fruit’
Loungers ‘still picking off low-hanging fruit’: The all-day cafe-bar chain Loungers is still ‘picking off low-hanging fruit’ around its existing patch, managing director Alex Reilley said this morning. He was speaking as the company opened its 54th site, Bonzo Lounge, in Keynsham (population 15,000), near Bristol, after a £500,000 investment. Reilley, told Propel: “We don’t see ourselves stretching the geographical boundaries in 2015 much beyond where we’ve already established the business, due to there being an abundance of opportunities in our existing patch and to a certain extent we are picking off some low-hanging fruit. Opening in smaller towns this year such as Kettering, Market Harborough and Rugby has opened a new war-chest of opportunities. Keynsham is one of the smaller towns we have gone into – it acts a commuter town for the cities of Bristol and Bath and is set to grow significantly in the coming years. We were also regularly getting email from people in Keynsham saying, ‘Please, please open here.’ We will continue to scale up the business in cities where we already have a presence whilst building upon the success we have enjoyed in smaller towns. Given that there are large areas of the UK we have yet to venture into, the business clearly has terrific potential scale.” The company, which will open a further two sites in December in Stroud and Peterborough, is set to open 20 sites in 2015, starting with the opening of Quinto Lounge in Sutton Coldfield on 14 January. The Sutton Coldfield opening will be Loungers’ fifth site in Birmingham, with a Cosy Club opening also planned for the city in 2015. It is also understood that the group plans to add a third site in Southampton, a fifth site in Bournemouth, and a further three sites in Manchester. Jeremy Burton-Dickie, operations manager at Loungers, speaking about the Keynsham opening, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this amazing new development and Keynsham is the perfect site for our Lounge concept. There’s already a thriving and vibrant community and we’re really looking forward to playing our part in the foodie scene here.”

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