Scotland’s largest independent restaurant chain, The DRG (formerly known as Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group), has unveiled plans for an £8m aparthotel in Glasgow city centre as it posted record annual results.
The company, which owns 18 restaurants across Scotland including Amarone and Café Andaluz, saw turnover increase by 12.4% to £33.7m for the year to 30 April 2016.
The family-owned group said that its investment of over £2m in new restaurants and staff training during the same period paid off, with profits increasing 22% to £5.76m.
At the same time employee numbers increased 13.6% from 690 to 784 – cementing the company’s place as the largest independent restaurant chain in Scotland.
Joint managing director Mario Gizzi, who co-founded the business in 1983, said that the latest results included the first full year of trading for The DRG’s flagship The Anchor Line restaurant in Glasgow’s St Vincent Place and its new Café Andaluz on Union Street in Aberdeen.
He said: “Our strategy of reinvesting in the business helps us to set the pace with new restaurant concepts and the latest additions, including The Atlantic in Glasgow and our new Spanish seafood restaurant Cadiz in Edinburgh are already trading very well.”
Regarding the group’s prospects for 2017/2018, joint managing director Tony Conetta confirmed major investments in both new premises and staff training programmes.
He said: “We are on schedule to open an £8m premium aparthotel in St Vincent Place, above The Anchor Line, in spring next year. It will have 64 rooms and including six penthouse suites.
“It’s a very significant venture for us but we have carried out a great deal of market research and are aiming firmly at businesspeople visiting the city, as well as visitors taking in shows at The Hydro or on shopping trips to Glasgow.
“Guests won’t just benefit from the luxury accommodation and city centre location, but will also be able to take advantage of The Anchor Line’s menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
A new £2m flagship restaurant and bar development, Registers, is also set to be open in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square in spring 2018, as the group takes the number of restaurants in the capital to four.
In a bid to ensure customer service levels are industry-leading, The DRG said it also plans to invest heavily in professional development for staff to create the top-class managers and head chefs of the future.
Last year, the company became an SQA-accredited training facility and started offering Modern Apprenticeships to staff. With 35 employees already undertaking SVQs in either Hospitality Services or Hospitality Supervision and Leadership, the firm is looking to expand the program to 120 apprentices in 2017-18 and 200 in 2018-19.
Conetta said: “It’s been a strong 12 months but we’re determined not to rest on our laurels. The coming year will see our biggest-ever capital investment in new premises and a huge expansion of professional training programmes for our people, so it’s an exciting time to be involved in the business.”
The annual accounts showed that directors’ remuneration increased 2.4% to £1.81m from £1.77m in 2014/15.