Restaurant Group to sell or shut 33 sites

Britain’s Restaurant Group, the struggling owner of the Joe’s Kitchen chain, said it identified 33 underperforming sites for sale or closure as a part of its ongoing strategy review after a turbulent year.

The company, that ousted its chief executive earlier this month, said it would take action on pricing and add back popular dishes to its Frankie and Benny’s chain menu saying that performance there has suffered due to unsuccessful menu development.
The company said trading has improved slightly in recent weeks, with like-for-like sales for the first 34 weeks of 2016 down 3.7pc. It had warned on profit in April.

The group, which operates over 500 restaurants and pubs in the UK’s casual dining sector, said it would take an exceptional charge of £59.1m in the first half from the prospective site closure and 29 site asset value impairments.
Operating profit for the 27 weeks ended July 3 fell 4.4pc to £37.5m while revenue rose 3.4pc to £358.7m.

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