The profits of the company incorporating Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant empire halved last year, The Caterer said.
The company, which also operates hotels, retail outlets, and a cookery school, blamed the wider hospitality industry for the drop. Turnover remained steady, falling from £16.9m to £16.8m the previous year.
But pre-tax profits plummeted to just £489,000, cut from £1m in 2018.
Neil McLeod, finance director for the group, said in a strategic report that the UK has suffered a “turbulent time” over the last two years. He blamed rising costs across the board, including the National Living Wage and business rates.
Rick Stein’s restaurants, one of Cornwall’s largest private sector employers with more than 300 staff, saw their total wage bill rise five per cent in 2018 to a total of £7.6m.
Rick Stein’s 14 restaurants and bars include the Seafood Restaurant in Padstow – commonly known as ‘Padstein’ – which he and Jill Stein opened in 1975, as well as venues across the UK. Perhaps the company’s situation explains the high prices?