D&D suffers from staff shortages

The restaurant chain is capping covers and restricting hours of operation in order to “maintain quality”

The revenue growth of D&D has been held back by staff shortages, D&D has revealed.

Trading in each of its new restaurant openings, which opened since or shortly before Covid, are constrained by the availability of skilled staff. This includes sites at 14 Hills, Klosterhaus in Bristol, and Haugen in Stratford.

D&D’s concentration of restaurants in Central London, which are 75% of its revenues, are holding back revenues bounce-back to date. 

However, revenue growth in these restaurants are expected to increase in the upcoming months as Central London’s economy recovers with the return of office workers and eventually business travel and tourism.

Additionally, overseas businesses are entirely self-financing through US and French government support, and they have been able to reopen. The staffing challenges and inflationary pressures are lower in D&D’s overseas sites than in the UK.

Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO of D&D London, said: “There is no hiding from the fact that the profile of D&D’s restaurants – mostly in central London and predominantly known for their dining experiences rather than food only – meant that we were hit harder by Covid and not been as fast to bounce-back.

“Despite this, our business has recovered strongly, particularly in terms of profitability, helped by cost reductions and government reliefs. We are also now seeing the start of a more powerful central London and corporate spend recovery which is boosting revenues.”

He added: “However, we are not getting carried away. Covid is not over. And we are having to deal with severe people shortage issues, particularly amongst mid-skilled staff, with inflation rising both for staff and operating costs. 

“So, while the short term revenue outlook looks pretty positive, the industry faces serious short and medium term supply side challenges.”

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