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30th Oct 2018

Wagamama fans concerned as restaurant chain bought by owners of Frankie & Benny and Chiquito

Rich Cooper

The owners of Chiquito, Frankie & Benny and Garfunkel’s have bought pan-Asian restaurant Wagamama

The Restaurant Group struck a deal to buy Wagamama, valuing the company at £559m.

In a time where casual dining outlets have been struggling, Wagamama has managed to weather the storm, with a reported revenue of £307m, employing 6,000 people across nearly 200 restaurants worldwide.

TRG’s chief executive Andy McCue said: “This transaction is an exciting and transformative opportunity to create a business which can pursue a truly multi-pronged growth strategy and create substantial value for our shareholders.

“Wagamama is a fantastic brand, with a market leading pan-Asian proposition, which has consistently outperformed the casual dining market in recent years.”

Not unlike Nandos, Wagamama has a dedicated group of fans. For some, the news of the restaurant’s takeover has sparked fears that the well-loved restaurant would change.

TRG have said that Wagamama will operate as an autonomous part of the group, so in theory nothing should change. Plans for the future of Wagamama include expanding the chain and trail food-to-go options. So hopefully. we’ll just get more Wagamamas and in a more portable fashion.