Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire’s Frankie & Benny’s both saved from the axe

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Frankie & Benny’s will not be closing either of its Lincolnshire restaurants as part of its plans to shut 14 branches across the country.

Both the Lincoln and Spalding sites will remain open as the company looks to optimise its resources.

Owners of the chain, The Restaurant Group Plc, operates over 500 restaurants across the UK, including brands such as Chiquito and Garfunkel’s.

However, a recent report has shown 33 sites to be ‘underperforming’ and have been ‘identified for closure’.

The report states that the sites are closing ‘due to insufficient focus on value, unsuccessful menu development and poor operational execution’.

The Restaurant Group also expects to open an addition 24 – 28 restaurants this year.

Chairman of the group Debbie Hewitt said: “This has been a challenging trading period for our leisure brands, albeit with a good performance from our pubs and concessions businesses.

“The board has moved quickly to undertake a review of the operating strategy and we now have clarity on the issues facing our leisure brands, particularly Frankie & Benny’s.

“The brand remains relevant and popular and we are confident that improved performance will be achieved by being more customer-focussed and data-driven, and through better operational execution.

“A new executive team is in place to lead the implementation of this first phase of the review and to apply the learnings to our other brands.

“The company is profitable, highly cash generative and has a strong balance sheet, and given our confidence in the current trading forecast, we are declaring an interim dividend of 6.8 pence per share, unchanged from last year.”