Cosy Club owner Loungers to open 10 more branches for takeaway as chain gears up for July reopening

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Restaurant chain Loungers is planning to open 10 more branches next week for takeaway as it gears up to reopen across the country in July.

The company, which was founded in Bristol and operates 167 Lounge and Cosy Club sites in the UK, has already opened 17 outlets for takeaway.

Loungers hailed its new takeaway model a “big success” and said it could provide “additional revenue” for the business in the future.

It said more sites could open for takeaway in the coming weeks but that it was not offering delivery.

The company said in a statement: “We have chosen not to go down the delivery route, and still don’t think it appropriate for our concepts which have customer and community engagement at the very heart of them but operating an order-and-collect model suits Loungers’ personality.”

The chain also said it was looking to trial order-at-the-table technology – something it had “ruled out” in the past – when its sites reopen.

The founders of Loungers: Jake Bishop, Alex Reilley and Dave Reid

“We would be keen to try it post-lockdown if it makes a minority of our customers feel more comfortable,” the company said.

The restaurant group, which is hoping to reopen in July if the hospitality sector gets the “go ahead” from government, is also considering reducing its menu size and planning to trial going cashless.

The chain has been closed since March and in April confirmed it had cut directors’ pay and extended its credit facility with its banks in a bid to give it enough capital to manage throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

The company said it is in the process of planning “revised layouts” in its bars and restaurants to meet social distancing guidelines.

“This is the kind of logistical challenge that we relish and perform well at,” they added.

“Due to the size and layout of the majority of our sites and the spread of our trade across the day parts, we anticipate being able to trade profitably with distancing rules.”

But Loungers said if the two-metre distancing rule remains in place, some of its smaller sites may not reopen immediately.

“There is a marked difference between one metre and two-metre distancing, and if two metres is implemented, it may not make sense to open a small number of our more compact sites immediately.

They added: “Naturally, it will be necessary to have PPE and additional hygiene protocol in place for a period of time but we think the measures we are taking from a design perspective will feel very complementary to the look and feel of a Lounge and Cosy Club, whilst providing reassurance to our customers.”

The company is still planning to roll out its plan for new UK sites, it said, and expects to “secure great property opportunities” in the coming months.

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