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Wed 16th Oct 2019 - Loungers reports like-for-like sales up 5.4%
Loungers reports like-for-like sales up 5.4%: Loungers, the operator of 157 neighbourhood cafe-bar restaurants that trade under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, has reported like-for-like sales grew 5.4% for the 24 weeks ending 6 October 2019. Total revenue for the period was up 22% over the prior year, to £79.8m. Over the course of the period, the group opened ten sites, comprising eight Lounges and two Cosy Clubs, taking the portfolio to 156 sites as of 6 October 2019. Since then, the group’s 27th Cosy Club opened in Basingstoke last week, and a further three sites are scheduled to open before the end of the month. These comprise of a Cosy Club in Plymouth and Lounges in Carmarthen and Buxton. The group said it was on track to open 25 sites in the financial year and the pipeline remains “strong”. Chief executive Nick Collins said: “Both Lounge and Cosy Club have continued to perform well, reflecting the growing appeal of our customer offer in the communities in which we serve. Our broad, value for money proposition across multiple occasions underpins the resilience of our trading and leaves us well placed to continue to outperform the market. We remain confident of delivering another year of positive progress for the group and are encouraged by the performance of our new openings.” Loungers said it expects to announce its half-year results on Wednesday, 4 December.

Three weeks to go until Casual Dining Summit, open for bookings: There are just three weeks to go until the Casual Dining Summit, in which some of the sector’s leading operators – big and small, new and established – will share expertise and insights into how they are seeking to win in one of the toughest trading environments ever experienced. The full-day event takes place on Friday, 8 November at One Moorgate Place in London and is open for bookings. The event will see a wide spectrum of company leaders and entrepreneurs from across the industry talk about the strategies they have put in place to make sure their businesses have been able to survive, thrive, evolve or pivot. Speakers will include YO! chief executive Richard Hodgson; Tom Molnar, founder of Gail’s; Shereen Ritchie, UK managing director of Leon; Byron chief executive Simon Wilkinson, Giggling Squid co-founder Andy Laurillard; Red’s True Barbecue co-founder James Douglas; Brasserie Bar Co chairman Mark Derry. Prue Freeman, founder of fledgling group Daisy Green; Phil Eeles, co-founder of Honest Burgers; and The NPD Group insights director Dominic Allport. There will also be a panel session featuring Thom Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, Dan Houghton, co-founder of Chilango, and Gavin Adair, managing director of Rosa’s Thai, who will explore the benefits and challenges that come with offering a delivery option, its impact on business models, staff and expansion opportunities. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Propel Premium subscribers and £345 plus VAT for all others. To book, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com or call 01444 817691.

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