The Restaurant Group plc (“TRG”, “Company” or “Group”) acknowledges that it has a significant role to play in the communities and wider environment in which it operates.

This statement sets out the principal areas of focus and activity that the Group has undertaken to date:

  • Nutrition – the Group’s approach to healthy eating.

  • Our people – the Group’s policies and actions towards our employees.

  • Our communities – how TRG interacts with those communities from which our customers and employees are drawn.

  • Our environment – the impact of TRG on the wider environment, and how we are seeking to reduce this.

  • Our shareholders – those that have invested capital in the development of TRG, and to whom the Directors and management of the Group are accountable.


Nutrition

TRG is a partner of the Public Health Responsibility Deal (“the Responsibility Deal”), launched by the Department of Health. The Responsibility Deal has been established to tap into the potential for businesses and other organisations to improve public health through their influence over food, alcohol, physical activity and health in the workplace.

The Group has renewed three pledges within the Responsibility Deal:

  • we have removed all added trans fats from our products and constantly monitor our products to ensure this remains the case;

  • we will use our local presence to encourage children and adults to become more active; and

  • we commit to ensuring effective action is taken in all premises to reduce and prevent under-age sales of alcohol (primarily through the rigorous application of Challenge 21 and Challenge 25).

The Group has also signed up to a further five pledges during 2014:

  • Salt Reduction – we feel this is an important consideration for our customers and as a result have agreed to three pledges under this category and commit:

    – to the salt targets for the end of 2012 agreed by the Responsibility Deal of which we achieved 95% compliance in 2014;

    – to achieve the 2017 salt targets and are currently working with suppliers to reduce salt in the products we procure; and

    – to work towards reaching the Salt Catering: Procurement target to help consumers lower their salt intake while eating meals out of the home. We commit to procuring at least 50% (by volume) of products to meet these targets.

 
  • Alcohol Unit Reduction – we have signed up to a core commitment to “foster a culture of responsible drinking”. Part of the commitment is to help to remove 1 billion units of alcohol sold annually from the market by December 2015. We aim to achieve this by improving consumer choice of lower alcohol products and making the alcohol units more visible on our products and displays.

  • Fruit and Vegetables – we will support customers in their consumption of fruit and vegetables. To help achieve this we will be using the Government’s “5-a-day” guidelines, due to be published in 2015, with a view to help making it easier for our customers to choose healthier meals.


Being a Responsibility Deal partner means that the Company is required to monitor and provide regular updates to the Department of Health with regard to the actions we are taking to fulfil our commitments within each pledge.

Healthy eating is a personal responsibility but the Group acknowledges that as a provider of food and drink we have a role to play in providing appropriate options from which individuals may choose when they eat out. The Company strongly believes that we should offer our guests choices on the menu. Whilst we do not wish to be prescriptive we aim to provide a healthy choice at each menu point, alongside more indulgent options. For many people, dining out is a treat and therefore normal restrictions which may be applied to healthy eating on a day-to-day basis may be waived in favour of their enjoyment and experience.

Allergens

In October 2013, Frankie & Benny’s launched a Non-Gluten Containing Ingredients (NGCI) menu to cater for consumers with a gluten allergy or intolerance. This menu has been fully endorsed by Coeliac UK and as a result, Chiquito also launched a NGCI menu to improve choice for customers in 2014.

During 2014, we published full allergen information for food and drink for all of our Leisure and Concessions brands in accordance with EU legislation. This information is easily accessible to customers on our brand websites. Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito customers are also now able customise the menus online by selecting their dietary needs. Customers visiting these brands can also access allergen information online via a personalised iPad on site.


Other initiatives

The Group is a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (“SEDEX”), which facilitates measurement and improvement in ethical business practices across the supply chain; in 2013, 164 of our food and non-food suppliers provided information describing their procedures and practices to the Group via SEDEX. This has risen to 251 in 2014.

As in previous years, there continues to be no known genetically modified foods in any product the Group uses and new suppliers are required to confirm that they will not provide the Group with such products. We have also removed the “Southampton Institute” colourings that can cause hyperactivity in children from all TRG branded products.

Our people

The most important asset any company can have is its people and with over 15,000 employees it is essential that we foster that talent, and support employees in building great teams. All employees are encouraged and supported to progress and develop within our Company and we endeavour to provide them with the tools and knowledge to achieve this. This is the key to any successful business and our team is one of which we are especially proud.

our people

All of our new managers, no matter the experience or the level, undertake our Managers in Training (“MIT”) programme when they join us or are promoted from within. Our MIT programme continues to identify and develop talent; the Group also continues to implement leadership programmes to assist in the identification and development of our future managers. Whilst we realise the importance of developing internal talent, we are expanding our commitment to apprentice and graduate programmes to help create a clear path for an individual, as part of this programme, to join the Company and progress in to a management position. Already some of our graduates from previous intakes have been promoted into more senior roles. Appraisals setting clear objectives are also firmly in place with development and performance linked to clear salary structures and career progression.

Such schemes are a key feature of the Group’s succession planning strategy and are therefore designed to equip managers with the skills they need to develop their careers at the next level and to ensure the Company remains their employer of choice over the long-term.

 

During 2014 the Group successfully opened a further 40 restaurants and in the process created over 1,300 jobs within the local communities; a trend which we expect to continue as we expand our business. As part of our commitment to equal opportunities, our policies offer equal rights regardless of age, colour, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religion and the diversity of our people reflects the diversity of the customers we serve.

The Group pays all of its employees at least the national minimum wage and does not utilise tips in any form to make up this rate. All gratuities are paid to the employees, with credit card tips attracting only the usual tax deductions but, unlike some of our competitors, no administration fee is taken by the Company.

Within the Company, training and development is the foundation on which our business is built. We have specialist training teams that ensure that every employee receives the highest quality training possible. We have invested and launched a state of the art e-learning platform, providing new IT equipment for every site allowing us to deliver a wide array of classroom training, on the job development and individually designed training programmes through our own training teams and selected specialist learning partners. We feel this approach helps keep the Group and all of our employees ahead of the competition.

As our portfolio of sites is spread throughout the UK, it is vital that our communication is of a very high standard. We work hard to ensure employees, in particular those based at our branches, are given regular team briefings. Our senior managers travel extensively around our businesses and interact daily with their branch management and team members to ensure full two-way communication is present throughout the business.

Employee engagement is important for the Group. In addition to the 2015 Employee Survey, we are currently implementing new visions and values through our “Proud to be TRG” initiative.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our customers and employees is of paramount importance. The Group has worked hard to ensure extensive procedures are in place to mitigate risks as far as possible to our guests and employees. We have very clear procedures and standards in place, and to enforce these we employ external auditors to perform a rolling programme of independent safety audits and carry out benchmarking of our restaurants.

We have invested significant time and resources in health and safety matters across the Group in recent years to further enhance the clean, safe environment for our customers and staff.


Our Communities

We are passionate about engaging with our communities and actively support our teams in their fundraising efforts and community engagement.

our communities

Throughout 2014 we supported a number of local and national charitable events, some of which are detailed below:

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

During 2014, Frankie & Benny’s worked with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK blood cancer charity. Every year they help prevent people dying of blood cancer and carry out research into preventable measures to avoid those developing blood cancer in the first instance. In July, several members of the senior management team took part in a 500km London to Paris bike ride raising over £275,000 and throughout the year restaurants have held various fundraising weekends to help highlight the need for further research.

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

During 2014, Frankie & Benny’s worked with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK blood cancer charity. Every year they help prevent people dying of blood cancer and carry out research into preventable measures to avoid those developing blood cancer in the first instance. In July, several members of the senior management team took part in a 500km London to Paris bike ride raising over £275,000 and throughout the year restaurants have held various fundraising weekends to help highlight the need for further research.

Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS)

The Group has raised over £400,000 for CHAS since fundraising began. During 2014 Filling Station undertook various fundraising activities for CHAS raising over £11,000 for the charity. CHAS provides the only hospice service in Scotland for children and young people who have life- shortening conditions for which there is no known cure.

Caudwell Children

Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. Frankie & Benny’s raised £60,000 in 2011 helping to fund treatment for a little girl called Susanna who was unable to walk. In 2014 we were pleased to raise over £43,000 for Susanna to continue her rehabilitation and help to fund treatment for another 16 children who have cerebral palsy and brain injuries. Susanna has recently started playing netball, the first time she has ever been able to participate in P.E. classes at school.

BBC Children in Need

During 2014 our ‘Penny from a pint’ campaign raised over £20,000 for Children in Need and a further £90,000 had been raised through a number of local fund raising activities across our Frankie & Benny’s restaurants. In the last six years, the brand has raised a combined total of over £500,000 for Children in Need.

  Help Amber Walk Appeal

In August 2014, Frankie & Benny’s became aware of a young girl called Amber who suffers from Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. She needed to raise £60,000 to pay for an operation that would enable her to walk. Following fundraising efforts throughout the weekends in our restaurants and sponsorship of a 100 mile cycle, Frankie & Benny’s were able to donate over £17,300 towards her operation. The operation was a success and Amber is currently undergoing physiotherapy.

British Heart Foundation

In 2014, Chiquito raised funds for the British Heart Foundation, the nation’s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research. Throughout the year the restaurants held a variety of charity breakfasts and fun days and donated over £12,700.

Charity breakfasts & local charity events

In addition to the large fundraising drives above, there any many other charities that have benefitted from our support this year. We regularly host charity breakfasts at which we offer free breakfasts in return for a donation to local charities including Young Epilepsy, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, St George’s Hospital Charity and Shine Northern Ireland. Coast to Coast and Filling Station regularly raise funds for DEBRA who are the national charity supporting individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB); during 2014 the brand donated over £15,400.

Sport & Education
Junior sports team sponsorship

Frankie & Benny’s have a long history of sponsoring local junior sports. During 2014, we sponsored a total of 144 junior teams across the country playing football, rugby, hockey, swimming, gymnastics, netball and much more. Not only do we provide kits for the teams, but we also take an active role during the season, attending tournaments and inviting them to enjoy end of season celebration dinners at Frankie & Benny’s.

Schools visit programme

The Frankie & Benny’s schools visit programme has been in place for more than six years now and continues to grow in popularity with over 1,750 visits taking place in 2014. School children, accompanied by their teachers, are given the opportunity to visit our restaurants to help bring curriculum based subjects such as maths, science and food hygiene to life. The children are also able to make their own pizzas by choosing their toppings. Whilst we leave the cooking to the chefs, school children are given an educational activity book to complete – a pack that has been designed by educational experts.


Our environment

The Group recognises its responsibility in minimising its impact on the natural environment and continues its commitment in reducing its energy consumption (and carbon emissions), water usage and waste.

our environment

Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions

The Group continues to maintain the Carbon Saver Gold Standard and also seeks to further improve the energy efficiency of the fabric of its estate. New restaurant fit-out specifications now include heat recovery systems, energy saving lighting, low energy hand dryers and increased insulation. In the course of the year we opened a number of sites under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) incorporating the use of Solar PV, Building Management Software and grey water harvesting.

Further investment in Voltage Optimisation equipment and behavioural training resulted in a like-for-like energy reduction for the 5th consecutive year.

Waste Management

The Group has introduced food recycling across the estate resulting in 85% of our waste being redirected from landfill; up from 49% in 2013.

Emissions data in respect of the 2014 reporting period, on the financial control reporting basis, is as follows:

Emission

 

Under Scope 1 we have seen a significant drop in our F-Gas (Operation of Facilities) compared to 2013 where there was a higher need for replacement gas due to maintenance issues; something the Group has worked hard to rectify throughout 2014.

We continue to promote our energy saving campaign to all restaurants and through the timely supply of accurate reporting, operational managers have the information they need to allow them to monitor and reduce energy consumption levels. This alongside our other initiatives will assist the Group in completing future obligations under the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) legislation and allow us to explore new environmental opportunities.

Our shareholders

The Group has had a clear strategy since 2001 – to deliver value for shareholders by focusing on sectors within the eating out market that offer high barriers to entry, where we can generate sustainable and growing cash flows and which offer high returns on investment. This has led the Group to focus investment in edge and out of town leisure locations, rural and semi-rural pubs and our Concessions business, which operates principally within airports. The Group has maintained a progressive track record of growing profits and dividends for shareholders. The Chairman’s Statement, the Review of Operations and the Financial Review provide further detail on the Group’s strategy, performance during 2014 and the prospects for the Group.