Jan 5, 2020

Restaurants find sustenance in supermarket ranges

PizzaExpress is struggling with a £1.1bn debt burden and a slowdown at its restaurants, but its business is growing on supermarket shelves. For casual-dining groups, grocery ranges offer a way of reaching customers without the capital expenditure required by a restaurant. Other restaurant brands that have successfully launched supermarket ranges include chicken chain Nando's, whose peri-peri sauce is the UK's best-selling chilli sauce with £14.4m sales last year, sushi brand Yo! and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which sells a range of patties and relishes in stores. Leon has employed a team of former Sainsbury's staff to manage its ready-meal range, which Mr Vincent said he hoped in 10 years would be worth as much as the restaurant chain. "If a customer buys something and is disappointed, they won't forgive you in the way they might have 20 years ago," said Richard Hodgson, chief executive of Yo!, who is trying to reposition the brand as more than just a restaurant chain.

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