Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group hurt by blockbuster film drought

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The lack of Hollywood blockbusters hitting the big screen so far this year has hit sales at the company behind Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Coast to Coast, bosses admitted.

Danny Breithaupt, the chief executive The Restaurant Group, added that recent heavy investment into the sector from private equity is also likely to increase competition and make this a tough year.

Same-store sales in the first 10 weeks of the present year dropped 1.5%, spooking investors and sending shares plunging 93p, or 18%, to 450p.

It comes as The Restaurant Group revealed sales last year up 7.9% to £685.4 million, with pre-tax profits up 11.2% to £86.8 million.

Breithaupt said: “Competition is there and it is certainly increased, but that’s driven by demand and more people wanting to eat out.” 

He added: “This time last year we had 50 Shades of Grey out in cinemas, which drove a lot of traffic our way. This year, there’s no doubt there are fewer blockbusters, but there is a steady stream of family titles on their way.”

Breithaupt also said this year is unlikely to see an increase in same-store sales, but added that this was because he plans to open more restaurants alongside current sites to boost total sales.

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March 10, 2016 |
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