Restaurants

Rockfish ‘astounded’ by post-lockdown sales

Following the reopening of all nine Rockfish restaurants, the seafood group has announced that sales in some sites are already equal to last year, with like-for-like sales only 7% below last summer’s trading.

Like-for-like sales from takeaways are also up 40% following the site’s reopenings. 

According to the group, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been “widely used”, and the business welcomed around 20,000 bookings for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August  within two days of the scheme’s announcement. 

Openings across the site were phased throughout July to “ensure all covid security measures were implemented to plan”. 

In addition, its Brixham restaurant and takeaway has undergone a refurbishment, and now features a new bar and extended outdoor eating area on the balcony. 

Throughout lockdown, all jobs at Rockfish were saved, and all staff have now returned from furlough. A further 25 team members have been recruited to meet the demands and plans of the business.

Founder Mitch Tonks said: “I’m astounded by both the guest feedback and the numbers for our first month since reopening. We knew that staycations and the coast would be a massive draw as the summer arrived but there were too many unknowns and variables to accurately predict customer behaviour. 

“We went into lockdown looking at our best year to date, so it was hard to know that all we’d done could be lost. But we’ve used the time whilst the business has been closed to make what we do better for both staff and guests.” 

He added: “Our exec team has talked daily throughout the lockdown and analysed every aspect of the business so that on reopening we were in as good a position as we could be. There will be plenty of challenges ahead, we are not in a bubble and have a long winter ahead but we remain optimistic about people wanting to eat fresh fish by the sea. 

“I have an amazing team throughout the business who bring energy, commitment and real care to each other and their work. I think we are better and stronger than we were and, if we can quickly adapt to constant change, I believe the future can be navigated safely.”

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