Loungers CEO: "we approach 2021 with enthusiasm and optimism"

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Restaurant bar group Loungers reports profit despite Coronavirus lockdown

Related tags Loungers Casual dining Restaurant

Loungers’ turnover fell 33% to £53.5m in the 24 weeks to 4 October, but the casual dining group still managed to turn a profit despite a raft of restrictions.

The Lounge and Cosy Club operator, which runs 168 sites across the UK, reported EBITDA of £13.2m, and profit before tax of £117,000.

The performance covers 11 weeks of lockdown, four weeks of phased re-opening, four weeks of Eat Out to Help Out, as well as the introduction of the Rule of 6, the 10pm curfew and local lockdowns in Wales.

Post-reopening, like for like sales growth was 25% between 4 July and 4 October.

The company has also announced the appointment of Bababoom founder Eve Bugler as chief operating officer.

Bugler will take responsibility for the commercial, build and people arms of the business, and sit on the executive board, allowing CEO Nick Collins to focus on strategic objectives.

Loungers has opened a number of sites since the lifting of the first national lockdown in July, including Cosy Club Brindleyplace, Ponto Lounge Hull, and Sentado Lounge in Sittingbourne.

It is due to open new venues in Stourbridge and Wolverhampton early next year

“The last six months have been challenging, but I am immensely proud of how we have reacted and delivered such a strong performance,” says Collins.

“We are fortunate that due to our suburban and market town locations, the flexibility of our offer, and our fantastic team, we have been able to trade well when given the opportunity to open our sites.”

The group has credited its strong performance to the evolution of its offer in reaction to coronavirus, which including an order at table app, which now accounts for 70% of sales.

The menus in both brands has been reduced significantly, which is expected to be a long-term trend.

Collins has called on the Government for more support for the hospitality sector. “I would strongly urge the Government to engage with our sector, provide immediate, targeted support where required, and re-consider the ill-thought through policies that have brought much of our industry to its knees.”

He also says that the company remains optimistic about its future.

“As we dare to look beyond covid-19, Lounge and Cosy Club have never seemed more relevant, and we approach 2021 with enthusiasm and optimism,” he says.

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