Britain's The Restaurant Group, owner of middle-of-the road restaurant chains including Frankie & Bennys, Chiquitos and Garfunkels, has claimed it is winning business from high end eateries as money conscious consumers look for value when eating out.
Like-for-like sales increased 4.5% for the year, and the group opened a further 28 restaurants in 2012. It plans to open between 28 and 35 sites in 2013. A 9% turnover increase was also registered in its trading statement, released on Wednesday.
Andrew Page, chief executive of The Restaurant Group, said in the statement: "The Restaurant Group delivered a strong performance in 2012, notwithstanding some tricky conditions for consumer-facing businesses. Sales increased by 9%, with like-for-like sales 4.5% ahead of the prior year.
"Profits were well ahead of 2011 and cash generation was strong... Last year the TRG team worked relentlessly to deliver a great performance and the focus is now directed towards delivering further good progress in 2013."
Lauren Charnley, analyst at Redmayne Bentley, told the Huffington Post UK that despite the good news, investors appeared to be disappointed with the results, with share prices falling 3% on Wednesday morning.
"Group operating margins appear to have been squeezed somewhat, as cash-strapped consumers reign in spending and Chiquito's promotions ran into December to boost sales" she added.