Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group today said it is seeing a "very encouraging" recovery in sales.
TRG, which is also behind the Frankie and Benny's chain, had been burning through £5.5 million a month in lockdown and has slashed 3000 jobs and permanently closed over 200 sites since the pandemic hit.
But today the group said 95% of its 400 remaining sites have reopened for indoor dining, and said that between April 12 and May 16 its open Wagamama sites made 85% of 2019 sales levels despite being restricted to outdoor-only service.
TRG also announced that it has secured £450 million in new debt facilities and has completed its long-term debt refinancing to help see it through the pandemic.
In a trading update issued ahead of its AGM, the group stated: "The Board has been very encouraged by the trading performance seen so far in 2021.
“While the environment for the remainder of the year continues to remain uncertain, the Group is well positioned across its diversified brand portfolio to benefit from the sustained removal of government restrictions."
Wagamama's chief executive Emma Woods is to step down as after nearly three years in the role on June 1, to be replaced by internal successor, Thomas Heier. Woods will stay on as an adviser as the inaugural member of the group’s new brand board.
Research compiled in January for the Standard showed that more than 800 chain restaurants, bars and coffee shops have closed since the start of the Covid pandemic.
The data showed that when administrations and Company Voluntary Arrangements are included, chains with 6231 outlets had been affected.
Shares in TRG were up 1.25% in early trading on Tuesday