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Famous Brands says UK burger unit met July revenue goal

However, the unit’s future is uncertain.
A chef with Gourmet Burger Kitchen delivery-only kitchen. Image: Luke MacGregor, Bloomberg

South Africa’s Famous Brands said on Thursday its British-based unit Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has achieved its revenue target for July of roughly half year-ago levels.

The UK- and Ireland-focussed premium burger brand GBK previously forecast that in July 2020 it would target achieving 49% of the revenue it posted in July 2019.

“It is pleasing to report that this was accomplished,” Famous Brands said in a statement, adding this was achieved with the 27 restaurants it kept open for the delivery and collection of food parcels.

The future of the unit is uncertain, however, after Famous Brands said in April it would not provide any further financial assistance to GBK.

“The Board of GBK will continue to explore all options to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business,” the company said.

The owner of hamburger fast food chain Steers and casual dining restaurant Wimpy said that out of its 62 GBK stores in the United Kingdom, 37 are open and offering full service, which includes delivery, collection and dine-in.

The remaining 25 stores are closed and in Ireland, one restaurant is fully operating out of five, it said.

Famous Brands spent more than R2.3 billion in 2016 to buy out GBK, but the South African company has twice had to write down part of its investment in the unit and pump money into it for its survival.

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Don’t get too cleaver with the humble burger.

That revenue goal was probably to break even. That’s all you can expect from the UK at the moment. Africa Free trade is the bright spot of the world. SA is going to power ahead very soon. As soon as we can get out of covid.

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