Franco Manca owner hungry for new restaurant sites, as it cheers strong reopening trade

Joanna Bourke
·1-min read
Pizza chain Franco Manca’s owner is looking at new restaurant sites (Fulham Shore)
Pizza chain Franco Manca’s owner is looking at new restaurant sites (Fulham Shore)

The owner of the Franco Manca pizza chain has been viewing a flurry of potential new sites this month, after sales since reopening surpassed pre-pandemic trade.

Fulham Shore, which is also behind The Real Greek brand, has seen a number of properties become available since other restaurants failed during the pandemic or decided not to reopen.

Many of these sites are typically fitted with kitchen areas and toilets for example, meaning Fulham Shore would not have to invest significantly in completely revamping them.

The company said: “We therefore expect a reduction in the group's average capital expenditure per new site in the short term, and that this should improve our return on capital.”

Areas visited in the last two weeks include London, York, Manchester and several other towns and cities.

New branches confirmed include a Franco Manca on High Holborn and one in Glasgow, opening in June.

The AIM-listed firm today has 70 of its 72 restaurants open for various combinations of al-fresco dining, delivery and collection services. 53 sites have outside tables.

The hospitality sector was allowed to reopen from April 12 for outdoor service.

The group said sales in the week ended April 18 were very encouraging, being not only ahead of the previous week, but also ahead of the same week two years ago in April 2019.

Chairman David Page told the Evening Standard: “I think people are feeling safer [to go out] because of the vaccination programme.”

He added that trade at suburban branches has been strong, helping to mitigate weaker performances at some central London sites.

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