Fulham Shore is continuing on its search for new locations for both its Franco Manca and The Real Greek businesses and is being presented with “excellent potential retail locations, almost on a daily basis”.

The group said in the last two weeks it had look at sites in London, York, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester, for either new or additional sites, with many of the locations re-existing fitted restaurant units.

“We therefore expect a reduction in the group’s average capital expenditure per new site in the short term, and that this should improve our return on capital,” it said in a trading update this morning (23 April).

It said the board believed that the next few months may be “the most exciting in the group’s short history”, as it looks forward to opening its restaurants fully, and capitalising on the opportunities in the property market.

Fulham Shore has so far reopened 70 of its 72 Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants, with various combinations of al-fresco dining, delivery and collection services. Currently 37 out of 52 Franco Manca and 16 out of 18 The Real Greek sites have outdoor seating.

The group said that sales in the week ended 18 April were very encouraging – and were ahead of the same week in 2019.

The group is currently in the process of building two new Franco Manca pizzerias, in High Holborn in London and Mitchell Street in Glasgow, which are both due to open in June.