Franco Manca owner, Fulham Shore, has said the UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) scheme has proved to be beneficial both for the company and UK diners after reporting a boost in sales at the start of August.
It said trade in the first full fortnight in August was markedly up on the same period in the previous year, with it achieving one of its highest weekly turnover figures in the second week of EOTHO – despite some of its restaurants still remaining closed.
Almost all of the group’s employees are now back off furlough and the company said it is recruiting and training more restaurant staff at all levels.
Since 6 August 2020, the company has also re-opened two more The Real Greek restaurants and is planning to reopen another Franco Manca next week, next to the new Harrods store in Westfield London.
This will take the group’s restaurant numbers that have re-opened for trading up to 50 (out of 51) Franco Manca and 16 (out of 18) The Real Greek.
This will leave the company with three unopened sites in the City and West End of London, which will re-open when office tenants and theatregoers return. Fulham Shore also remains on track to open a new Franco Manca on The Cut, near to the Old Vic theatre and Waterloo Station in London, in mid-September.
A statement by the company read: “After the closure of the restaurants at the start of lockdown in March, the company initiated conversations with all of its landlords regarding a reduction in the sums paid to them under the various leases.
“The group is pleased to report that it has reached agreement with more than 40% of its landlords to waive, defer and/or reduce the rent on the properties it leases from them. The Company remains in discussions over similar arrangements with its other landlords.”
It continued: “The board is grateful to those landlords who have engaged with the company and been supportive of the business in these difficult times.”