TGI Fridays to reopen after renovation
TGI Fridays on Hope Road in Kingston Jamaica.

TGI Fridays is set to reopen this week following a month-long renovation announced by its Trinidadian parent company Prestige Holdings Limited.

The restaurant, which opened in 2004 at 51 Hope Road, had been set to undergo renovation in 2020 but the novel coronavirus pandemic derailed those plans. However, Prestige believes the move is the right one as it begins to spend on capital expenditure for its various locations. According to its Instagram page, the location was closed on October 3 for remodelling under the theme 'New Look, Same Vibe'. A post made last Thursday indicated that it was giving away two vouchers ahead of its reopening in one week.

"There actually were plans to do this prior to COVID and with COVID-19 coming in, we delayed that investment plan. There's a fairly significant store upgrade planned before the end of the calendar year. We hold the rights for Jamaica so we would consider other locations in Jamaica," said Prestige Chief Executive Officer Simon Cawdery at the company's annual general meeting earlier this year.

Prestige holds the development rights for TGI Fridays in Jamaica and Trinidad with four locations in the twin-island republic. The Barbados location closed in late 2013. Prestige's subsidiary Prestige Services Limited owns the development rights for TGI Fridays in Caricom (Caribbean Community) while Prestige Restaurants Jamaica Limited is the company that operates the location on Hope Road. Prestige Holdings is a restaurant management company and operates other brands such as KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Subway in Trinidad and Tobago.

The other segments for Prestige recorded TT$17.95 million in revenue ($412.85 million) and TT$1.31 million ($30.03 million) in net profit in the 2019 financial year (FY). For the 2021 FY, the segment recorded TT$9.61 million in revenue and TT$621,637 net loss. The others segment covers Prestige's operations outside of Trinidad and Tobago.

Prestige's third quarter saw its fortunes turn around as its revenues nearly tripled to TT$299.29 million ($6.88 billion) which resulted in a net profit of TT$13.32 million compared to a net loss of TT$13.43 million in the comparative period. For the overall nine months, Prestige's revenue was up 65 per cent to TT$810.36 million with net profit coming in around TT$24.14 million. The prior year saw most food establishments closed for dining in Trinidad along with numerous lockdown days.

"Food and other cost inflation remain a threat to our industry and significant increases have been experienced in virtually every area. We continue to work closely with suppliers and service providers to manage these increases and have been judicious with pricing initiatives so as to minimise the impact on customers. Overall, our brands and operations are strong and we are continuing to build on the digital and delivery capabilities developed in the last two years," said the quarterly report signed by Chairman Christian E Mouttet.

Total assets were marginally down year over year to TT$741.60 million with the company's current assets climbing to TT$177.20 million. Prestige generated TT$112 million in cashflow from operating activities and paid down TT$32.8 million in debt to leave it with a cash balance of TT$80.5 million. Total liabilities decreased five per cent to TT$466.41 million while Prestige's shareholder equity was up eight per cent to TT$275.19 million. Due to the rebound for the company, it paid TT$7.50 million or TT$0.12 per share in dividends on July 29.

Prestige's stock price is down seven per cent year to date at TT$6.50 which left it with a market capitalisation of TT$406.33 million. The company's financial year ends on November 30.

Prestige ended the quarter with 129 restaurants after opening a Starbucks at Piarco International Airport in the second quarter and closing a Subway at Lowlands, Tobago. Prestige noted in its first-quarter report that it planned to open four Starbucks during the financial year and one in Guyana after securing the development rights.

"We're working with the landlords to source and secure attractive sites. Those discussions are ongoing and we're looking to open our first store sometime in the first quarter of 2023 for Starbucks in Guyana," Cawdery closed.

BY DAVID ROSE Observer business writer davidr@jamaicaobserver.com

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