The Restaurant Group (TRG) saw a “very encouraging recovery in sales” in the five weeks to 16 May, following the opening up of venues for outdoor dining.

In a trading update for the financial year to date, TRG said the restrictions imposed by the government meant there were no meaningful like-for-like sales comparisons for the 20 weeks to 16 May.

Wagamama traded at around 85% of its comparable 2019 sales levels from the 130 or so sites open for outdoor trading, representing a c.15% outperformance of the market, said TRG. While its Pubs business also traded at around 85% of 2019, from the 75 or so sites it had open.

Around 110 of its Leisure division sites, including Frankie & Benny’s, opened for outdoor trading, with sales reaching around 60% of 2019 levels, which was in line with expectations it said.

For the three weeks of indoor dining to 16 May in Scotland – seven Wagamama and 16 Leisure sites were opened – its sites there traded 22% and 21% ahead of comparable 2019 levels, it said.

The group now has around 350 sites open across the business for indoor dining, however its Concessions business currently has only four sites trading due to the restrictions around international travel.

In the six weeks to 11 April 2021, the group was operating delivery and takeaway from around 200 sites, across its Wagamama and Leisure businesses, with trading performance tracking at approximately 3.0x and 5.5x pre-Covid-19 levels, respectively.

The board said it had been “very encouraged” by the trading performance seen so far in 2021, and it believed it was well-positioned to benefit from the sustained removal of government restrictions.

The group also announced it had completed its previously announced refinancing and has £450 million of new debt facilities having drawn down £330m of the Term Loan Facility on 17 May 2021 and access to a £120 million Super Senior Revolving Credit Facility.