Five Guys
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US Burger chain Five Guys is planning to open a further 10-15 restaurants in the UK this year, despite posting a pre-tax loss for 2018.

Recent filings on Companies House for Five Guys JV Ltd, the operating company for its UK restaurants, show the group recorded a loss of £3.9m in the 12 months to 31 December 2018, compared to a £3m loss in 2017.

But operating profit rose to £5.8m, up from £5.1m the previous year.

Five Guys had a total of 88 UK restaurants at the end of 2018. Two sites have closed so far in 2019, but the company says it is planning further growth after securing a £100m bank facility from Goldman Sachs to aid UK and European expansion last year.

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Writing in the accounts Five Guys UK CEO John Eckbert says the directors believe there are “strong growth prospects in the premium burger market and intend to continue the rapid roll out of Five Guys in the UK”.

He adds that delivery is proving an “exciting new revenue stream” helping the brand reach new customers.

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Five Guys was founded in Virginia, US in 1986 and made its UK debut in Covent Garden in 2013​ as a joint venture with Sir Charles Dunstone, the British founder of mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse.

Its UK expansion has been rapid compared to its other US counterparts. Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack also opened in Covent Garden in 2013​ but has grown to just 10 sites. Smashburger, founded in Colorado in 2007, launched in the UK in 2016 and now operates seven restaurants.

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Actor Mark Wahlburg’s Wahlburger’s chain opened in London this year and is planning 15 sites in the next five years.

By Sophie Witts

Source: Big Hospitality

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