Bill's refurb to reach a quarter of its sites by this summer

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Bill's refurb to reach a quarter of its sites by this summer

Related tags Casual dining Restaurant Bill's

The Bill’s restaurant group is planning to roll out its refurbishment plan to reach a quarter of its estate by this summer.

The casual dining group begun a redesign of its c.80 sites in 2017, and has already converted 13 restaurants to the new format.

A further 11 sites will be upgraded in Q2 2019, beginning in Leeds, followed by restaurants across the UK.

Bill’s says the new-look sites are all ‘significantly outperforming’ the rest of the estate, and today announced that like-for-like sales were up 12.2% across the group in March 2019.

Bill’s was founded in Lewes, East Sussex in 2000 and was acquired by The Ivy restaurateur Richard Caring in 2008 when it had just two sites.

Last September Caring told BigHospitality’s​ sister site MCA​ that the brand had become ‘tired’ and ‘needed help’ off the back of slowing sales.

He said: “I am confident we can lift this business hugely over the next 18 months or so. That means taking our foot off the expansion pedal and concentrating on improving the existing estate.”

The last two years have been a period of management changes for Bill’s, with former Wagamama CEO David Campbell joining the business as executive chairman in July. ​Campbell was credited with transforming Wagamama in to one of the best performing operators in the sector, doubling its value over four years in charge from 2014.

A number of Bill's high street rivals, including Carluccio's and PizzaExpress, are also refurbishing their estates​ following a turbulent year for the casual dining sector, with brands including Byron, Jamie's Italian and Prezzo closing sites under Company Voluntary Arrangements. 

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