Café Rouge Turns To Deliveries To Boost Business

Café Rouge franchise
Café Rouge

Café Rouge is the only established Nationwide French casual dining brand in the UK

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Café Rouge franchise owner hopes to expand in transport hubs and overseas markets by keeping an eye on deliveries.

Casual Dining Group, the owner of Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia franchises, intends to make its high-street presence stand out by expanding its transport hubs and overseas markets. Additionally, the group that also runs the Las Iguanas franchise chain will be focusing on the expansion of concession sites at airports and through franchising contracts with restaurant operators in the Middle East, Ireland and South Africa.

In a recent interview, chief executive Steve Richards explained that when brands rely solely on high street footfall they “fall over” after being hit by a lightning rod of rising costs such as business rates and food price inflation. Mr. Richards said: “I don’t know many industries which could take those hits over such a short period of time.”

According to Mr Richards, his business has been exploring different ways to reach customers and focus will be placed on developing these strategies. As of April, it will be using Deliveroo, Just Eats and Uber Eats to bolster a delivery trial it has been wielding on 200 of its sites. The restaurant group has also created a new brand called Stack & Grill, a delivery only range of dishes cooked in the kitchens of the Café Rouge estate and is planning a September launch of a selection of Bella Italia pizzas, pastas and sauces to be sold in major supermarkets. Mr Richards is planning similar launches for the restaurant groups other brands. With sales of £329m in the year to May 28, including a robust 2.2pc like-for-like rise, Casual Dining Group, that also runs La Tasca and Belgo brands, decided to ride the wave of growth and go full throttle on the expansion of business developments. The groups’ colossal sales performance comes amidst a brutal market that has so far claimed the lives of other well-known and established franchised restaurant brands such as Byron and Jamie’s Italian who have been forced into oblivion. The strong sales performance for Casual Dining Group translates to whopping earnings of £17m – and this is before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 3.7pc. Mr Richards was proud to announce that his business had cut down the amount it was deducting to the “lowest level in four years” and had been “very conservative” with price hikes for customers.

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