Frankie & Benny’s to report amid challenging market

Frankie & Benny's is not the only restaurant chain feeling the pinch
Frankie & Benny's is not the only restaurant chain feeling the pinch

Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group is set to reveal another set of disappointing figures next week as fears continue to grow for the casual dining sector.

A consensus of City analysts forecast the company - which also owns brands including Garfunkel’s, Joe’s Kitchen and Chiquito - will report a pre-tax profit of £55.9 million.

While it marks an improvement on last year’s £40m loss, those results were dragged down by a £117m exceptional charge linked to restructuring efforts.

Stripping out exceptional charges, pre-tax profits for the year are expected to be down 27%.

Tim Barrett, analyst at Numis, said The Restaurant Group has been impacted by a “soft” UK dining out market, adding: “The main determinants include an adverse £19m from like-for-like sales decline, (and) minus £17m from cost inflation.”

The results come at an increasingly challenging time for the casual dining sector.

Burger chain Byron and Jamie’s Italian have both undertaken Company Voluntary Arrangements this year, which saw hundreds of jobs lost as dozens of restaurants closed down.

Prezzo is also set to close up to a third of its 300 restaurants as it begins an overhaul that will put hundreds of jobs at risk.