Turtle Bay is having one of its best two-month trading periods on record, chair Jane O’Riordan has said.

Speaking on CGA’s Follow the Money webinar, she cited the Caribbean bar and kitchen brand’s regional presence outside London, all day offer, and embrace of technology for driving strong, positive like for like sales growth.

O’Riordan told how Caravan, which she also chairs, has been more heavily impacted, due to its London presence, though added that its all-day proposition was a mitigating factor, and was still ahead of expectations.

The third business she chairs, Flight Club and Electric Shuffle operator Red Engine, is fully open, but capped by capacity constraints and social bubble sizing, which she said has been “tough… but much better than we had hoped”.

Explaining her approach in motivating the management teams she work with, she said: “You’ve got to be pretty level headed, because it’s very easy to go into flat panic, and to get into blame or put your hands in the air and say, ‘I can’t do it’. Fortunately, all of the management teams have got a real can-do attitude

“The agility responding to the constant changing world has really come out. It’s been amazing how fast technology has been adopted into a sector where technology has been appalling.”

New booking systems were helping manage peaks across the three businesses, she said.

“It also really helps manage your capacity throughout the day, and particularly in areas where we’ve been truncated at 10pm, to be able to move people earlier, and to campaign out to get people in the restaurant earlier has really helped.”

Despite the sometimes bleak picture, she said there would still be opportunities in 12-18 months.

She added: “I think we are still in growth mode. Yes, we may have had to pause for the obvious reasons, but we’re looking forward to next year. All three businesses are looking for growth.

“If your business is relevant enough and on trend, then it can go back into growth in the next 12 to 18 months.

“But any business plan on recovery that is written on the basis of doing more of what you did before is probably not going to be right

“You’ve got to have a business plan that’s reflecting the new reality and changes and that agility.”