Shakey’s restarts expansion plan after difficult 2020 | Inquirer Business
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Shakey’s restarts expansion plan after difficult 2020

/ 05:18 AM July 16, 2021

After the disruptions caused by the pandemic in 2020, restaurant chain operator Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. has resumed its store expansion program this year, with the goal of opening 30 new stores.

The new store openings will consist of 15 new restaurants under the flagship Shakey’s brand and 15 under the Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken brand, Shakey’s president Vicente Gregorio reported to the company’s stockholders in an annual meeting on Thursday.

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Eleven of the 30 new restaurants have already opened, bringing to 242 Shakey’s total store network as of end-June.

“We are proud to say that, while we were among the first to shut down most of our stores [at the height of the lockdowns in 2020], we were also one of the first [in the industry] to reopen most of our stores,” Gregorio said.

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“All in all, through these efforts, we are now on the road to recovery. We are greatly encouraged to see sequential recovery in our systemwide sales compared to prepandemic periods in 2019,” he added.

Recovery

Shakey’s reported a 67-percent recovery in sales as of the first quarter of this year. The company also returned to profitability in the last two quarters.

Despite the challenging environment last year, the company ended 2020 with a positive cash flow, allowing it to meet its obligations.

The company also retained its market leadership and even grew its market share among full-service chain restaurants and full-service pizza chains, Gregorio said. Among full-service restaurant shares, it ranked No. 1 with a market share of 30 percent in 2020, up from 23 percent in the previous year. In the pizza category, it remained the dominant player with a market share of 68 percent in 2020, up from 67 percent in the previous year.

“We ended 2020 with net zero store closures. For 2021, we are happy to report that we are continuing on with our expansion plans,” Gregorio said.

The company also launched menu innovations to incorporate healthier food options, including plant-based offerings through a strategic partnership with UnMeat brand.

Amid the pandemic, Shakey’s likewise added R&B Milk Tea, one of Singapore’s leading brands in the category, to its brand portfolio. To date, it has rolled out the brand to 133 Shakey’s and Peri-Peri outlets.

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When the pandemic erupted last year, the group restructured and reorganized is operations. It conserved cash by temporarily halting its expansion and renovation programs. It also liquidated excess inventory and negotiated extended payment terms with suppliers and rent waivers with lessors.

As the pandemic dragged on, the company was also forced to streamline its workforce.

“Today, we are in a better position than last year, and we now have a program to rehire or outplace those deserving employees that we had to let go. So far, more than 60 have benefited from this program,” Gregorio said.

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