Established in 1928, Harry Ramsden’s is well-known across the UK for its signature fish and chips menu, which includes flaky cod, crispy batter and chunky Maris Piper fresh-cut chips. However, after 90 years of frying, Harry Ramsden’s announced a loss in excess of 5 million pounds, closing many of its UK restaurants and giving redundancy packages to hundreds of staff members.
Losses and Closures
Not only did Harry Ramsden’s announce a loss of 4.9 million pounds in December 2017, but the closure of nine restaurants and stores added another 2.4 million pounds to their total loss that year. The sites were closed due to their lack of future viability, as profits had dropped significantly since the previous year.
According to The Guardian, even the original Harry Ramsden’s restaurant in Guiseley faced closure in 2011, but the building itself was saved by a second fish and chip shop group, who spent £500,000 restoring the restaurant to its former glory.
Turnover was high in previous years, but the restaurant chain’s profits decreased in 2017. Operating its many sites became more difficult, especially with trading conditions becoming almost impossible for some franchises, who have had to battle with an increase in the national minimum wage as well as higher business rates, higher site rental and the apprenticeship levy. Some very well-known restaurants, such as Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian, have even had to enter into Company Voluntary Arrangements to try to stay afloat in a sea of cuts and losses.
The Future of Harry Ramsden’s
Harry Ramsden’s is world famous for its delicious fish and chips, along with on-tap fizzy drinks not unlike those you can get from a draught soft drink supplier such as https://empireuk.com/. There are still over 30 restaurants in the UK, and they are looking at various ways of updating their business model to stay on-trend.
While keeping their flagship fish and chip choices on the menu, Harry Ramsden’s have included salads, pies and a new burger menu. Teamed with vegetarian options, allergy information and a lower-calorie option of “poached” chips, Harry’s restaurants now appeal to a much wider consumer audience. Their improved performance and efforts to stay current have perhaps ensured that their place in the future of UK restaurants remains stable.