The Restaurant Group is expected to announce further closures of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito this week, the Mail on Sunday reports.
In his first major strategy update since joining in August last year, TRG boss Andy Hornby, the one-time HBOS CEO, is due to announce further disposals of restaurant sites, many in out-of-town retail parks that are struggling to attract visitors.
More could be converted to Wagamama, while some leases will be terminated as they come up for renewal.
Hornby will also update on plans for the US, where Wagamama has five sites.
TRG has set targets to leave half the remaining sites when leases come up for renewal or have a break clause.
A third of its leisure portfolio – primarily Frankie & Benny’s sites – have been identified as ‘structurally unattractive’ and are earmarked for closure.
This week’s update from Hornby is expected to accelerate the process of slimming down its dining brands as he battles to return the group to profit.
The company racked up a pre-tax loss of £88million for the first six months of 2019, compared with a £12million profit a year earlier, after taking a huge writedown on its leisure estate.
Analysts expect full-year 2019 profits before tax of £74.7million but after exceptional costs it will post an overall loss.
Peel Hunt said this year’s trading would be “tough” and the best way to unlock value would be by “accelerating an orderly exit from the leisure estate”.
This month Hornby appointed his former GVC colleague Mark Chambers, managing director of its retail business, as head of TRG’s leisure operation.
Frankie & Benny’s managing director Ollie Humphries is leaving the business.
More closures expected for TRG leisure brands
The Restaurant Group is expected to announce further closures of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito this week. TRG boss Andy Hornby is due to update on whether more sites will be converted to Wagamama, as TRG reports its full year results. He will also update on plans for the US, where Wagamama has five sites. TRG previously identified a third of its leisure portfolio identified as ”structurally unattractive”.