United Kingdom

Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group expects sales to drop by 50pc this year - and furloughs staff

Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group expects sales will drop by 50pc this year – and has furloughed around 20,000 staff. 

The drastic sales dip comes from a new 'pessimistic' scenario about its trading, which assumes all restaurants and pubs will stay shut until June 30. 

Drastic: A new 'pessimistic' scenario assumes all restaurants and pubs will stay shut until June 30

It has accessed the Government's furlough scheme to help more than 20,000 employees, taken the business rates holiday for three-quarters of 2020, and trimmed spending plans. 

And it has placed two of its brands – Food and Fuel and Chiquito – into administration. 

The Frankie & Benny's-owner, which has more than 650 restaurants and pubs in the UK, has also tapped the stock market for more cash, through a share placement of up to 19.9 per cent of the company's capital. Its market value was £294m last night, meaning that it would raise around £59m. 

Chief executive Andy Hornby has said he would take a 40 per cent pay cut and forgo his bonus. 

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