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Wed 23rd Sep 2015 - TGI Friday’s reports profits up 16%, unveils £3.5m flagship site
TGI Friday’s reports profits up 16%, unveils £3.5m flagship site: TGI Friday’s has confirmed that it will be opening a £3.5m global flagship restaurant in London’s Leicester Square next month, occupying the 10,000 square foot Yates’s sites. The new restaurant will be the ‘Friday’s jewel in London’s crown’, and the 70th to open in the UK, providing 260 internal and 60 external covers, as well as 150 new jobs. Landlord Criterion Capital was seeking rent of £2 million a year for the 25-year lease. The Leicester Square opening builds on a year that has seen total sales growth of over 10% in 2015 so far and profits up over 16%, which will increase over the final three months of the year. In addition to the Leicester Square opening, the brand is continuing to grow the Friday’s footprint in the UK, with four more restaurants to open in 2015, and another eight in 2016. The Leicester Square restaurant will boast a £3.5 million refit, and feature an open kitchen, allowing guests to see their burgers, ribs and steaks cooked to perfection before their eyes. Cocktails will come courtesy of a large four-sided standalone bar, which will be the focal point of the restaurant. Karen Forrester, chief executive for TGI Friday’s UK, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be expanding the ever-increasing Friday’s family, and opening our flagship store in London’s vibrant Leicester Square. Well known as the UK’s centre for entertainment and fun, we’ll fit in perfectly.This landmark opening comes at an important time for the brand this year, which has gone from strength to strength, including being named the Sunday Times Best Big Company to Work for in the UK. It also represents a new era for Friday’s as we turn thirty next year; the Leicester Square restaurant will set new UK and international guest experience and sales records from its opening, and we’re continuing to explore similar sites around the country that’ll strengthen this position.” Bill Priestley, Partner at Electra Partners, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this prime Friday’s site, as we seek to develop and implement the company’s ambitious growth plans. This adds to the huge pipeline of new stores coming up both this year and into 2016, with hundreds of new jobs being created up and down the country. We’re really excited about what the future holds for Friday’s, and can’t wait for the doors to open at its new restaurant in Leicester Square.” The company’s like-for-like sales grew 1.4% in the 52 weeks ending 28 December 2014, a slowdown on 2013’s like-for-like growth of 3.6%. The company reported sales for the year were up 7.8% at £174.4m from £161.8m, while Ebitda before exceptionals was up 3.5% to £20.7m.

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