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Propel Info, 4th October 2017 - Revolución de Cuba has ‘proper momentum’

News   •   Oct 04, 2017 13:36 BST

Revolution Bars Group chief executive Mark McQuater (pictured) has told Propel Revolución de Cuba has “proper momentum” and the emergence of its smaller trading format provides scope for the company to up its target of 50 sites for the brand. The company opened four Revolución de Cuba sites during the year and McQuater said they were generating “very good returns”, with the brand’s venues now taking £2.5m on average annually. McQuater said: “We now have 14 Revolución de Cubas in the estate and we have proper momentum in that brand. By that I mean the critical mass really – two years ago we only had five of them and now we’ve got a brand that works in all these different places, from Aberdeen to Cardiff to Norwich. Our Belfast site that opened in July has achieved the highest sales level we have seen in a long time and it shows there is a market for the brand in regional locations rather than London. It’s a powerful brand that has a lot of potential. We’ve said before we think we can have 40 or 50 Revolución de Cubas but last year we opened a smaller format in Harrogate and it was getting similar levels of turnover so it has given us confidence to open similar-sized sites. That gives us more opportunities moving forward and therefore more sites than we envisaged previously. We think we could get to a decent number.” McQuater said the company would also continue to open Revolution sites under its new design as well as continuing to refurbish the estate on a five-year cycle. He added: “I think that is the optimum length – customers need a change after that time. We’ve refurbished ten sites this year. We’re also trying to add new design elements – for example our site in Southend has a retractable roof and we’ve been getting good levels of sales where we are putting them in. I also think the size of our estate allows us to stay on top of the refurbishment project. Having, say, hundreds of pubs makes it a bit more difficult.” McQuater said pre-bookings for Christmas were “looking very encouraging”, while the company’s new online vodka range demonstrated the diversity of Revolution Bars Group. He added: “We are pleased with the company’s progress. Like-for-likes have been very positive over the period, margins have also moved forward, and overall the business is in excellent shape.”

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