Whitbread to axe 50 Cafe Rouge restaurants
UK leisure and restaurant group Whitbread is closing 50 of its Cafe Rouge restaurants following poor performance in the past six months.
LONDON (Brand Republic) – UK leisure and restaurant group Whitbread is closing 50 of its Cafe Rouge restaurants following poor performance in the past six months.
The move follows the sale of Whitbread’s brewing operations in the UK to Belgian rival Interbrew and the company’s new strategy to concentrate on its pubs and restaurants business.
While chains such as Costa Coffee and Pizza Hut saw a healthy sales growth, performance at high-street restaurant chains Bella Pasta, Cafe Rouge and TGI Fridays fell sharply in the half year to September 2.
Whitbread reported a 5.9% drop in pre-tax profits to £182.1m and group sales slipped by almost 2% to £1.77bn.
The Cafe Rouge closures are part of a 10% cull of the restaurant division –- 140 outlets will be put up for sale.
It is also overhauling its 258-strong Beefeater chain, creating a new concept to be called Out & Out at 80 sites. Costa Coffee is set for a big growth with the number of sites expanding from 220 to 500.
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