Tasty plans to step up expansion after 20% sales growth in 2015: Wildwood operator Tasty has reported sales up 20% to £35,794,000 (2014 – £29,734,000) in the year to 27 December 2015 – and is now planning to accelerate its roll-out. Operating profit before pre-opening costs and non-trading items was up 28% to £3,951,000 (2014 – £3,090,000). Profit before tax up 20% to £3,067,000 (2014 – £2,552,000). 12 new Wildwood and Wildwood Kitchen restaurants and one new Dimt restaurant opened in the year. Two new restaurants have opened since the year-end. The company also has two sites under construction and a number of other sites at various stages of completion and negotiation. Chief executive Jonny Plant said: “2015 was another strong year for Tasty across all aspects of the business. We continued to grow at a rapid rate, with 13 new openings achieved in 2015, taking the estate to 48 restaurants, an increase of 37% on the previous year. Improvements in Tasty’s trading profits have been achieved through a combination of increased sales and cost reductions which has resulted in the adjusted Ebitda margin increasing by 1 % to 16.3%. Adjusted Ebitda (excluding pre-opening and non-operating costs) increased by 28% to £5.8m for the year. Since the year end we have opened two more restaurants and a further two sites are under construction. The property pipeline is looking strong for 2016 and we expect to open 15 sites. Expansion has focused on the Wildwood (43) brands and this will continue in the future. The ‘all day’ appeal of these brands has been improved by the development of a delicatessen which has driven additional morning and mid-afternoon trade. Our sites are primarily based on the high street. However, we have a number of leisure, retail and tourist locations which all trade well, highlighting the broad appeal and scalability of the offering. Continued expansion across all of these location types are planned in the coming year. A review of the Dimt (seven) brand has identified mixed retail and leisure developments as a key area of expansion. An additional Dimt site was opened in the year in the Whiteley development in Fareham. Alongside the Dimt in Whiteley, we opened a Wildwood, the first time the group have operated these two brands in the same location. Both sites are trading above expectations and pave the way for similar future openings if the opportunity should arise. We are now preparing for an acceleration in the roll-out programme with the appointment of David Street as property director and a number of key business functions will be expanded and strengthened to facilitate this more rapid growth. A significant investment will be made to upgrade the existing restaurant websites and greatly enhance the entire digital marketing strategy for the group, which will increase the reach and recognition of all the Tasty brands. To ensure that we retain our high level of food quality and consistency we will be investing in Tasty’s central kitchen’s infrastructure. Additionally, a number of appointments are being made in our operations, marketing, finance and people departments, along with a number of systems upgrades, to ensure a continued successful expansion programme. The business is at an exciting stage and is well positioned to expand. 2016 will be a year of growth and investment as we lay the foundations for the future.” Meanwhile, Tasty has appointed Timothy Cundy as finance director with immediate effect. Cundy, who qualified as a chartered accountant in 2008 and has since held a number of finance positions at various companies, has been head of finance at Tasty since September 2013. He was previously a director of Peggy’s Tea Company.
Chicken Shop secures Wimbledon site: Agent Shelley Sandzer, has acted on behalf of Hot Pink Grill in a deal to assign their lease to Soho House concept, Chicken Shop. The 1,800 square foot site is located at 86 The Broadway, Wimbledon. Founded in London in 2012, Chicken Shop serves marinated free-range rotisserie chicken alongside a selection of sides and puddings. The chain already boasts nine locations throughout London, as well as a presence in North America and Spain. Leo Feldman, at Shelley Sandzer, said: “This is a fantastic location for Chicken Shop to have secured. The Broadway in Wimbledon is already home to popular eateries including Franco Manca Wimbledon, which Shelley Sandzer assisted in securing last year. Acting in the deal continues to affirm our position as trusted advisors to the leisure property industry.”