TGI Fridays is reportedly well-positioned to “emerge strongly” from the pandemic, despite the massively fluctuating trading conditions of 2020, according to parent company Electra Private Equity.
It said the restaurant group’s agility in responding to changing conditions, combined with careful financial and cash management, allowed it to end the year with its cash position “virtually unchanged” from March 2020.
During lockdown, the group continued to trade through delivery and click and collect from 27 stores, as well as nationally through the delivery of ‘prepare at home’ meals and cocktails.
Once the hospitality sector reopens later this year, TGI Fridays will reopen its 85 existing sites, as well as open both its first ’63rd + 1st‘ location in Cobham and a new Fridays site in Lincoln.
The ‘63rd+1st‘ concept is a new brand that builds on Friday’s heritage in cocktails to provide a smaller site format and cocktails-led experience with a focused, high quality menu.
A pipeline of three additional ’63rd+1st‘ sites and two additional Fridays sites will open throughout 2021, with an additional nine targeted locations in varying stages of delivery across both brands.
According to Electra, its strong position and new openings come as competition in the restaurant market has been reduced by an estimated 20% to 30% from pre-Covid levels due to widespread closures.
Ahead of the group’s AGM today (24 February), chairman Neil Johnson said: “Each of the Electra Private Equity PLC portfolio companies is trading in line with expectations, consistent with the trends we reported at our final results announcement on 9 December 2020.
“Despite continued uncertainty on timing of the relaxation of trading restrictions, and the impact of that particularly on TGI Fridays, we remain on track with plans to deliver our strategic objective of portfolio realisation in 2021.”
He added: “In the most challenging circumstances each of our management teams and their employees have worked tirelessly to put their business in a strong position for future growth and, on behalf of our shareholders I thank them for their continuing excellent efforts.”