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Fri 10th Sep 2021 - Fulham Shore plans ten new openings this financial year
Fulham Shore plans ten new openings this financial year: Franco Manca operator Fulham Shore is lining up ten openings. In a trading update, the company stated: “Since the Group’s Final Results announced on 17 August 2021 group revenues have continued to grow. In the three completed weeks since (up to 5 September 2021), group revenues for all restaurants have increased 27% compared to the equivalent period in the 2019 calendar year. This represents a marked acceleration from the 8% average increase for the eight weeks ended 15 August 2021 announced in the Final Results. The group’s 17 restaurants that are located in the West End of London and city centre office locations, although still down on 2019 levels, have, in these three weeks, continued to see a week-by-week improvement in footfall and revenues as tourists and office workers have started to return. So far, during the group’s current financial year ending March 2022, we have opened two Franco Manca and, most recently, our 20th The Real Greek in Norwich. This Chantry Place location has opened with strong trading serving an enthusiastic local audience. This takes the total number of restaurants operated by the group to 75. Since 17 August 2021, fitting out works have commenced on two new Franco Manca pizzeria, in Blackheath Village and on Baker Street in London. 15 more potential sites are in solicitors’ hands for both Franco Manca and The Real Greek.” Chairman David Page said: “We are very encouraged by the accelerating revenue growth trends during recent weeks despite continued challenging trading conditions. This reflects the popularity and relevance of both Franco Manca and The Real Greek, underpinned by their great food and fantastic value. We continue to see a number of exciting growth opportunities and are on course to open ten locations during the current financial year, with more than 150 additional sites in our medium-term plans.”

Next edition of Propel Blue Book sent to Premium subscribers today: The latest edition of the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, is to be published today (Friday, 10 September) at midday. The latest Blue Book sees a further 62 companies added, taking the number of UK pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel operators featured to 408, with a total turnover of £30.7bn. The Blue Book, which is updated every month – on the second Friday of the month – has begun to reflect the economic damage of the pandemic with 200 companies reporting a profit and 208 reporting losses. The Blue Book provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers also receive two other databases – the New Openings Database, produced in association with StarStock, and the Multi-site Operators Database, produced in association with Virgate, which are also updated each month. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. In this week’s Premium Opinion column, which will be sent today at 5pm, he talks to Clive Chesser, chief executive of Punch Pubs, about the group’s investment in its leased and tenanted estate, the impact of its debt refinancing, the acquisition of the Young’s tenanted business, and the impact of the crisis on the company and the wider industry. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Billionaire Issa Brothers mull sale of EG Group: EG Group, the forecourt operator and owner of Leon, is reportedly mulling options for its future, including a potential sale. Bloomberg reported that a deal to sell the company, which is backed by the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital, could fetch as much as $15bn. It may also look at a possible IPO. The Blackburn-based company is reportedly working with various banks including Rothschild, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays to consider its options. EG Group operates circa 6,000 sites in countries including the UK, United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia. Last year EG bought 146 KFC restaurants in the UK and Ireland, followed by healthy fast-food brand Leon in April for £100m. It is also aggressively pursuing cafe chain Caffe Nero by buying up its debt. “EG Group regularly works with its advisers to explore a wide range of options to create value in its portfolio,” EG said.

Mission Mars plans Rudy’s opening in Chorlton: Mission Mars, led by Roy Ellis, is planning to open a further site under its Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza concept in the north west, in Chorlton. The business, which will open its ninth site at the end of this month, in Liverpool, is understood to be set to take the former TSB bank unit in Barlow Moor Road. At the end of this month, the concept will open its second site in Liverpool, occupying a former Sainsbury’s store in the city centre, in Bold Street. Earlier this year, the business, which launched in Ancoats, Manchester, in 2015, opened in Stockton Heath, Warrington, and made its London’s debut with an opening in Wardour Street, Soho.

The Vurger Co secures Manchester site: Vegan fast-food concept The Vurger Co has secured its first site in the north west, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The company, which announced earlier this year it was looking to open in Manchester, is understood to have taken a unit underneath Transmission House on the corner of Tib Street and Church Street in the city. The site will become the group’s fourth opening and its biggest to date. Founders Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts said earlier this year the new site would be their most ambitious project yet. Backed by Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni and Miray Zaki of Dismatrix Group, The Vurger Co operates two London stores – the first debuting in Shoreditch in March 2018 followed by a Canary Wharf location eight months later –and its most recent Brighton location, which opened in July last year.

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