Newswire - 1 September

01 September 2020Newswire Topics: Leisure & Nightclubs, Pubs & Bars, Rental, Restaurants
Newswire - 1 September

Retail footfall increasing but inconsistent

Springboard reports that last week retail footfall was 68% of its level last year. West End was 41%. Retail parks are now at 85% with High Streets at 60%.

Azzurri Group acquired out of administration

The operator of ASK Italian, Zizzi and Coco Di Mama was purchased by private equity firm TowerBrook Capital for £109.5m last month - less than half the £250m Bridgepoint paid for it in 2014. Turnover had grown to £295m (FY19) with Ebitda £39m over the period.

Chilango bought out of Administration

The Mexican restaurant chain has been sold to investment group RD Capital Partners, following a competitive sale process. The deal secures ten of Chilango's 11 restaurants with just the Leather Lane site being closed.

EOTHO success

More than 64 million meals have been claimed in 87,000 participating restaurants and cafes. Open Table reported customers numbers for Monday to Wednesday last week was 61% higher than the same week last year.

EOTHO to be continued by many

Many multiple operators have continued the promotion without the government support, to drive customer numbers in the early part of the week, and the Grosvenor Estate has offered a rent reduction to tenants that offer subsidised meals beyond the Treasury's Eat Out To Help Out scheme, again to retain renewed levels of footfall. Warnings about the negative effect in the medium term of customers becoming addicted to heavily discounted promotions are being drowned by the need for short term cash flow.

Wahaca to explore CVA

The Mexican brand is to close ten sites and explore a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The company stated: "Rents, as a percentage of sales, in city centres, where the majority of Wahaca restaurants are located, had already increased dramatically - which, coupled with the uncertainty of the post-lock-down trading environment, would make a number of sites untenable.

Ei Publican Partnerships extend support for Tied Tenants

Tenants on substantive agreements will benefit from further subsidised rental payments of 40% for September. This follows the granting of between 50 and 100% rent credits between April and June.

Greene King offer further rent support

All tied Tenants will be given a 40% rent concession for four more weeks, followed by a 30% reduction for the four weeks after that, meaning support will last until October.

And Finally...Nightclub operators make case to reopen

A group of operators have joined the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), to call on the government to save the late-night sector from collapse. The majority have not qualified for any grants or loans and as yet have had no help with rent. Research showed 57.6% of night-time venues will not survive longer than two months without further government support; and 73% of night-time operators will be making more than half their workforce redundant from September. The consortium has submitted a report which examines the science behind how to mitigate the spread of the virus and calls on the government to allow for the reopening of clubs across the UK.

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Graeme Bunn

Graeme Bunn

Managing Director

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