Franco Manca owner The Fulham Shore is opening new London restaurants in a vote of confidence in the capital’s hospitality sector despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said today that it launched a Franco Manca restaurant in Waterloo in September that had traded well before the most recent lockdown, despite lower than usual footfall in London.
It is preparing to open another pizzeria in Borough Market, which will be its 53rd Franco Manca site, when the current lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Fulham Shore will also open a new branch of its The Real Greek concept in Bracknell, Berkshire, which will also begin trading next month.
The company reiterated its plan to take advantage of lower rents during the current hospitality climate to add to its portfolio of UK restaurants, which currently stands at 72 sites.
“We see more properties coming to the market at ever lower rents as a result of the current conditions in the property, retail and dining out sectors,” Fulham Shore said in a statement this morning.
“We expect this trend to continue, and will continue to take advantage of this as and when appropriate.”
Fulham Shore’s weekly group revenues have increased and fallen in the eight months to November, mirroring the trading restrictions that have been imposed by government.
Sales in August were ahead of last year due to the impact of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but revenue has generally been behind 2019 levels due to the pandemic.
It reported a loss for the first quarter of the current financial year when its restaurants were almost entirely closed, which was almost offset by trading in the second quarter, it said.