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Loungers group report 7.4% growth in like-for-like sales

Lounger's turnover surpasses £90m mark

More evidence this week that UK diners are looking for a more community-centred, intimate setting when dining out. Despite decreased profits throughout much of the casual dining sector, the Loungers group, which is backed by Lion Capital, reported a 7.4% growth in like-for-like sales in the 24 weeks to October 8th. The business also saw revenues climb from £68.5m, to £91.8 m in the year to 23 April 2017, representing a 34% rise in net sales.

Growth in spite of decreased profits throughout sector

The figures emerged in the same week that we reported losses in areas of the casual dining sector and in real household income, which has fallen by 1.1% this year. Many of the main UK burger chains have halted expansion or have reported first-time losses, whilst American burger chains and renowned mobile burger caterers are going from strength to strength; perhaps indicating that customers are becoming fastidious about where they choose to spend their hard-earned cash.

One thing we’re seeing is that the companies who continue to thrive in spite of rising food costs and the impending national living wage - companies such as the Loungers Group and mobile caterers such as Caribou Poutine in Liverpool, The Meat Shack in Birmingham and Bleeker in Birmingham are all committed to provenance and authenticity.

Shifting patterns across the industry

The recent street food revolution and the increasing demand for mobile caterers at all manner of events is indicative of shifting patterns in the industry, perhaps reflecting a desire for a return to community style dining and a passion for ‘desi’ style food; indeed, the Lounges’ aesthetic is specifically designed to be cosy and ‘homey’ as is too indicated in the name. What’s more, both the Lounges group and (the vast majority of) street food events accommodate families in environments which are equally committed to producing good-quality food. Crucially, Loungers’ restaurants are located in suburban areas, often a few miles out of the city centre, whereas many of their casual dining competitors are often placed in busy, high footfall areas which may be less appealing to families.

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