Wagamama owner Restaurant Group Plc has said that sales from outdoor dining at its Wagamama chain and pubs came close to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels during the five week period that ended on May 16, as UK residents started stepping out to meet their families and friends after months of lockdown.
Approximately 85% Of The Levels Seen In 2019
Sales at approximately 130 Wagamama restaurant sites and 75 pubs touched approximately 85% of the levels seen in 2019 during the five week period that ended on May 16, as Restaurant Group, which also owns Frankie & Benny's, spent heavily on stretch tents and marquees.
Seeing Encouraging Signs
Restaurant Group said that it is seeing encouraging signs since indoor dining resumed in the UK last week, even as hotels and restaurants in the UK continue to operate at limited capacity.
Wagamama Delivery And Takeaway Sales
Restaurant Group also said that average standalone delivery and takeaway sales at Wagamama during the six week period that ended on April 11 were at three times compared with pre-COVID-19 levels, while leisure unit sales were more than five times, due to a surge in orders during the lockdown.
Challenges Over The Past Year
Over the past year, the company had to permanently shut some underperforming restaurants, secure new long-term loans, seek out government support and raise money multiple times to navigate the global health crisis.
Restaurant Group said that the environment continues to be uncertain and that it has more than £200 million of cash on its debt facilities, giving it some protection against a resurgence or a variant of the coronavirus.
Next Phase Of UK Reopening May Be Delayed
The UK government has already warned that the next phase of reopening planned in June may be delayed after a spike in COVID-19 infections due to a variant of the virus first found in India.