Bill’s develops new bar brand following ‘record-breaking’ financial results

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Bill’s develops new bar brand following ‘record-breaking’ financial results

Related tags Bill’s richard caring

Bill’s is trialling a new more bar-orientated sub brand that will offer a wider variety of sharing dishes alongside draft beers and more hot drinks options.

Bill’s Newbury relaunched as Bill’s Café Bar yesterday (1 April) with Bill’s St Albans set to be converted to the new, more relaxed format later this month. 

The Richard Caring-owned group says the move comes off the back of ‘record sales’ across its 45-restaurant estate of £92.6m,​ up 4.6% on like-for-like sales for 2022 and guest metrics being at ‘an all-time high’.

Bill’s - which has shrunk significantly following the pandemic and wider challenges in the casual dining space​ - suggests that the new brand could eventually help them expand the business. 

The new Café Bar format will also feature a 'generous' happy hour promotion encompassing both drinks and food in the form of small-plates each day between 4pm and 7pm, a weekend prosecco offer (£17.50 a bottle before 5pm)  and a selection of Bill’s signature favourite dishes available each evening between Sunday and Thursday for £10.

Guests will be able to order both at the bar or their table with the space in the two new Café Bars converted into distinct 'zones' that will allow for the space to be utilised by the guest ‘in a way that comes naturally to them’ creating ‘a fun and relaxed environment’

The renovated sites will present a vibrant conservatory dining space and a relaxing lounge with both areas serviced from extended bars. 

Both sites feature  terraces to enjoy a morning coffee or have cocktails with food in the evenings, which also nod to Bill’s early beginnings as a greengrocer turned café in the early 2000s.

“We welcomed over five million guests in 2023 throughout breakfast, brunch and dinner," says Bill's managing director Tom James. "With our goal of Everyone Leaves Happy, I am pleased to say we saw a fantastic increase in guest reputation, NPS and Mystery Diner scores leading to the improved performance in sales and profits.

“The inception of Bill’s Cafe Bar is an exciting time for the business and our teams.  After our collective efforts over the last couple of years to strengthen our operation, we are now at a stage where we can put our energy into new opportunities such as this. Whilst continually improving and innovating our core offer, we welcome this updated version of Bill’s to develop in line with current industry trends and guest demands.”

Related topics Casual Dining

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