The restaurant group owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay narrowed losses to £1m last year as sales more than tripled after Covid restrictions were eased.
Ramsay has an interest in 50 restaurants including 36 directly operated outlets in the UK, such as the Michelin-starred Pétrus and the Savoy Grill, as well as 14 licensed venues overseas.
Sales rose more than £50m to almost £80m in the year to 28 August, according to accounts filed at Companies House, but the results showed the extent of inflationary pressure on the hospitality industry as the group remained in the red with pre-tax losses falling to £1m from £6.8m a year before.
The documents lay out plans to open a second Lucky Cat outlet in Manchester this month, as well as more Bread Street Kitchen outlets – after new London sites launched in Battersea power station and Limehouse in late 2022 – and that the group was looking for a second site in Edinburgh for its Gordon Ramsay Academy cookery school, which opened in Woking, with backing from the local council, in 2021.
Ramsay also wants to expand his casual dining Street Burger and Street Pizza chain after buying up Pizza East in London’s Shoreditch in February. The company said that while it planned to expand, it had written down the value of three unidentified sites after a review found they required “improved performance or alternative uses”.
Dozens of UK restaurants have been forced to close across the country as labour shortages and wage increases have combined with a surge in energy and ingredient costs, with diners reining in spending because of rising energy and food shopping bills.
However, the financial documents show the company hired more than 500 additional staff in the year, taking the total employed to more than 1,100 as it opened two upmarket restaurants in the year to August 2022 – Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay and The River Restaurant – and two of its Bread Street Kitchen outlets, in Edinburgh and Liverpool, plus two Street Burger venues, in Reading and Farringdon in London.
While losses narrowed, the group’s net debts rose slightly to almost £24m as it said it had spent almost £2.7m on pre-opening costs for new restaurants.
The group collected £153,000 in government support during the year, including furlough payments, but that was much lower than the almost £3.8m a year before.