COVID-19: German Doner Kebab eyes 1,800 new jobs in expansion plan

February 22, 2021

A restaurant chain has announced plans to almost double its interests in the UK, buoyed by a leap in delivery and takeaway sales during the coronavirus crisis.

German Doner Kebab (GDK), which operates a franchise-based model, said it would open 47 new restaurants by the end of this year - building on its current 52 sites.

The company said it expected that the expansion would create up to 1,800 jobs.

It announced the move at a time when much of the casual dining sector is shuttered because of lockdown conditions - with no sign dine-in restaurants can open any time soon as Boris Johnson prepares to set out his roadmap for England later.

Follow live coverage on Sky News as the PM is expected to address the House of Commons at 3.30pm and lead a Downing Street news conference at 7pm

Chains are crying out for clarity on re-opening dates UK-wide, with the hospitality sector pointing to evidence that it is not a "significant" source of COVID-19 transmission.

JD Wetherspoon and Harvester-owner Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) are among listed competitors to have raised cash as the wait goes on for re-opening.

M&B told investors on Monday, as it launched a £350m share offer to raise fresh equity, it was burning cash at a rate of up to £35m every four weeks during the current lockdown.

The company, which also includes All Bar One and Toby Carvery, said the share sale was crucial to help it navigate the lockdown and thrive on re-opening.

It reported a 70% slump in sales from 27 September to 16 January compared to the same period 12 months previously.

In contrast, GDK said it enjoyed a 51% rise in same-store sales during 2020 and Manchester, Newcastle, Blackburn, Huddersfield, Stockport, Stirling would get their first restaurants this year.

It also announced additional sites in London and Glasgow.

Chief executive Imran Sayeed said: "We have been extremely agile during the pandemic and there continues to be a huge demand for our game-changing kebabs.

"It is therefore very exciting to be announcing these latest growth plans for the next 12 months as we build on the great momentum we delivered during 2020."

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