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Old 27-06-2020, 13:16   #1721
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Yeh I knew them as the owner of the Trafford Centre which seems pretty bullet proof, but they seem to be the owners of all sorts of nothing shopping centres which I imagine could be a huge problem.
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Old 29-06-2020, 12:57   #1722
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Stopped going lakeside about 20 years ago when they got rid of the independent shops and made it all chains. Used ot be a good record store I went too in there now it'd just be HMV like everywhere else. I don't know if this policy change was anything to do with them taking over or not.
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Old 02-07-2020, 17:05   #1723
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Café Rouge and Bella Italia owner falls into administration

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53270679
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Old 02-07-2020, 17:47   #1724
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Can’t think of two worse places to eat unless you have a fetish for groups of primary school teachers dining out on club card vouchers.
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Old 02-07-2020, 18:12   #1725
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Can’t think of two worse places to eat unless you have a fetish for groups of primary school teachers dining out on club card vouchers.
I've had plenty of enjoyable meals in them
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:35   #1726
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They were alright, but as with any other of these places. Too many restaurants, not enough demand and certainly gonna get crucified if you can't have customers. These places never seem to be trading much beyond being just about solvent.
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Old 04-07-2020, 15:38   #1727
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Virtually all the chains at that price point have struggled for a good few years now. Going through CVAs and administrations. Covid-19 being the final straw.

They just all over expanded into chains of hundreds of restaurants so each town had multiple clones from rival chains. Keeping much smaller so less competition would have been the sensible approach but they all got greedy on cheap loans thinking they could be the stand out hit.

Agree it’s only been discount codes and club card vouchers which kept these places going. Was the only reason we ate there. Just went to whichever one was offering the best discount when we wanted to eat out. Couldn’t have helped the viability of any of them.
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:52   #1728
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I read an article for either Pizza Land or Deep Pan Pizza Co, big 80's pizza chains if you don't know. They started doing vouchers, then people started expecting vouchers and then they went bust.

We decide where we're going based on what deal, it's not hard, there are numerous chains everywhere.

Last time I was in Pizza Express, the standard greeting from the waitress is "do you have a voucher?"

I'm not sure if economics works differently nowadays, I'm guessing it does. Someone builds up a chain to 500 stores, gets a bonus or something or sell it to the Japanese, then someone buys it out of administration and close 300 of the not profitable ones.

I'm guessing money is made by the people who do this. Possibly not by the people who hold the leases.

Not wishing to bad mouth where I live in the UK, but is Warrington really the place for a Patisserie Valerie £4 vanilla slice? Or a Zizzi next to the ASK?
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:47   #1729
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Not wishing to bad mouth where I live in the UK, but is Warrington really the place for a Patisserie Valerie £4 vanilla slice? Or a Zizzi next to the ASK?
Are the people of Warrington not allowed nice baked goods?

They'd go down a storm in Stockton Heath.

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Old 05-07-2020, 14:02   #1730
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Are the people of Warrington not allowed nice baked goods?

They'd go down a storm in Stockton Heath.
But are there enough of those customers to make somewhere viable at the prices they charge.

Anyway Patisserie Valerie went bust even before CV-19, so obviously not enough customers paying their prices. Over expanded compared to those who would buy from them.

Even after expansion they weren’t as big a chain as Costa or Cafe Nero. Both expensive but not as expensive as them.

There’s a reason you multiple branches of Greggs on some high streets in poorer parts of the country. Loads of customers attracted to their low prices.

Just look at the the ‘casual dining chains’ they all wanted to expand in the same places. The affluent South middle class suburbia so places like Guildford and Tunbridge Wells. They bit off to much when they wanted hundreds of restaurants so went to sub prime locations at high rents.

There are a few places like Nando’s and Wagamama who resist the voucher offers game but they seemed to get customers even without them.

Is very true the comment that management of these companies almost all owned by private equity, want to expand as much as possible and try and find a mug to buy them. Almost always they over pay and to get the volume of restaurants many are in crap locations and loss making so the new owners need to do a CVA to get rid of them.

Over the next few years can see many towns supporting 2 or 3 like this but not the 5 to 10 we have today. There’s still more clear out of these places to come.

Many have also been extremely slow to react, not offering takeaways during lockdown. Near us the only chain who did was Nando’s and they tool until early June to start. Contrast this with family owned Indian and Chinese restaurants where locally they all stayed open throughout for takeaway and delivery (usually by family members rather than the delivery companies). The places that struggled were fish & chips but that’s because all ours are cash only and they don’t have phone ordering capability.
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Old 06-07-2020, 22:12   #1731
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Are the people of Warrington not allowed nice baked goods?

They'd go down a storm in Stockton Heath.

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No they're not, since it closed down. Turns out people in Warrington didn't want a £4 vanilla slice.

I went to London for a few days, I was quite surprised to see that the prices seemed a bit more reasonable than I remembered. What it seems to be is that "London Prices" are now national prices.

It's not just Warrington, it's everywhere. Smaller and smaller towns with more chains.

Not to keep bad mouthing Patisserie Valerie, but the business model seems to be "there are an infinite amount of people to pay £4 for a vanilla slice" but replace vanilla slice with "15 quid for a pizza" or anything really.
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Old 06-07-2020, 22:29   #1732
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London is actually fairly cheap for food. So competitive.

Beer a bit less so.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:23   #1733
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Yeh, I used to work a fair bit in Liverpool. Back in the day, a decent sandwich was £2. Now you can either go to the PoundBakery or pay £8 for something for lunch. Admittedly it'll be in an ethically sourced tub, but still.

I guess it's fine in good times, or that people are generally richer nowadays, but when I was younger I used to get lectured on getting a sandwich for £1.50, when I could make it myself for less, as a sign of the yoof squandering money. Now it's £8.

Living in the FI, with nothing much to buy, has opened my eyes to how much I used to spend.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:17   #1734
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Before lockdown, I was in the habit of using deliveroo for lunch, and that was often north of 12 quid a day.

Such good food though (and mostly v healthy good stuff)
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:34   #1735
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Yep, although I've always been in the tight brigade, cos my Mum would pack us all lunch on day trips and we'd appreciate an ice-cream.

Comparing the yearly cost of sandwich+drink+snack+newspaper to taking packed lunch+fruit+book is pretty eye-opening. Maybe the smokers and drinkers who are/were always used to spending so much to feed their habits meant that it wasn't much more expensive to feed their guts too.

And of course the sandwiches went all posh, from cheese+branston for 99p to mature cheddar+caramalised onion on gluten-free olive-ciabatta for £4. Even buying posh baps and deli meats, you can assemble in 5 mins for much less.

As a society we've lost the cooking motivation, and rather than looking for food prep shortcuts in the kitchen to cook smarter not harder, we've switched to buying ready done, 'cos ... time.
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Old 10-07-2020, 15:18   #1736
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As a society we've lost the cooking motivation, and rather than looking for food prep shortcuts in the kitchen to cook smarter not harder, we've switched to buying ready done, 'cos ... time.
Something I learned when I was out of work. The amount of money we were wasting on ready made products, and the time saving for using them was virtually nil. Plus what you end up with if homemade is generally much healthier and tastier.
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Old 15-07-2020, 11:09   #1737
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Can’t think of two worse places to eat unless you have a fetish for groups of primary school teachers dining out on club card vouchers.
I'll raise you with Frankie and Bennys.

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Old 15-07-2020, 12:13   #1738
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I'll raise you with Frankie and Bennys.

It's a fair point, or TGI Fridays.
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