Wildwoods and Dim T owner Tasty reveals some restaurants ‘at risk of permanent closure’

Naomi Ackerman
·2-min read
A quiet night in Soho (Jeremy Selwyn)
A quiet night in Soho (Jeremy Selwyn)

Tasty, the company behind the Wildwoods and Dim T restaurant chains, has revealed six of its sites “are at risk of permanent closure”.

Tasty has reopened 48 of its 55 restaurants – 51 Wildwoods pizza joints, and six of the Asian fusion outlet – since lockdown eased on 4th July.

The AIM-listed company said on Friday that the six restaurants at risk of shutting down permanently are those which have not reopened since March.

Tasty had claimed £3.3 million from the furlough scheme by the end of June and has already made significant redundancies across head office and restaurant teams in recent months. It now employs around 700 staff.

The company reported a post-tax loss of £11 million for the six months to the end of June, compared to an £800,000 loss for the same period in 2019.

It saw sales plunge by 59% in the period, largely a result of closure when lockdown hit in March.

Revenues fell to £8.7 million in the half year to the end of June, down from £21.1 million in the same period in 2019.

The company had a net cash position of £3.2 million by June 28, which was gained after selling its Dim T site at More London by London Bridge in January for gross proceeds of £2million.

It said “cash preservation” had been the “key priority” as the pandemic hit in order to “maximise the chances of the group surviving”.

<p>Dim T has a site in Fitzrovia, where Eat Out to Help Out saw increased business in the summer</p>PA

Dim T has a site in Fitzrovia, where Eat Out to Help Out saw increased business in the summer

PA

The half-year report stated that the company “will continue to review its existing estate to consider whether a number of restaurants should close permanently”.

It said that the company hopes to avoid the need for a company voluntary arrangement restructure proposal, but is working with KPMG to “assess the potential impact of Covid-19 on the business and the various strategic options available to the Group”.

Chairman Keith Lassman said that he is “hopeful” for the company given new measures being implemented.

He said: “Whilst the trading environment continues to be extremely challenging and ever-changing, with the additional bank facility and support from our creditors and landlords, we are hopeful that we will be able to navigate our way through these difficult times due to our agility and restructured operational base.”

He added: “There are opportunities to build on the stability in the Group and the lower operating cost base which will allow us to take advantage of reduced competition.”

The company saw trade improve in August due to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but tighter restrictions implemented since October led the company to say it expects “to face uncertain times for the foreseeable future”.

Ask Italian chain founders Adam and Sam Kaye own a 40% stake in Tasty. Adam Kaye stepped down from the board in September.

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