Buzzworks report another strong year despite market challenges


Ayrshire-based family firm, Buzzworks Holdings Limited, has reported a 19% growth in revenue in its latest trading results with an increase in revenue to £29.9m from £25.2m, with negotiations underway for three new venues and plans to double the size of its business creating 800 new jobs.

The results for the year ending 30th April 2023 also show underlying EBITDA before site opening costs and non-recurring items at £2.94m compared to £3.95m in 2022 which was supported by the reduced VAT rate on food sales and the payment holiday on business rates.

The company say that, as part of its growth strategy, “Buzzworks continues to invest in new and existing venues. This totalled £4.7m in the year including the opening of Scotts in Greenock as well as further expansion into the east coast with Thirty Knots in South Queensferry followed by the opening of Herringbone Abbeyhill on London Road, Edinburgh. The company also invested in the refurbishment of its current portfolio including Lido Troon, Scotts Largs and Herringbone venues in Goldenacre and North Berwick”

The results come as the independent bar and restaurant operator experienced a strong start to 2024, with like for like sales growth of 5.3% for the 5 weeks to 31st December 2023 which came on top of strong growth last year.

Buzzworks, which this year was in the top 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK for the 8th time, have said that their investment in local communities and its existing 800-plus strong team, industry-leading staff benefits, ongoing training and development, career progression, flexible working, and health and wellbeing incentives, is the foundation for its success.

Kenny Blair, Managing Director and member of industry body Scottish Hospitality Group, said, “We have stuck to our plans for expansion, investment in our portfolio and development of our people and despite challenging conditions, we’ve had a successful year. Our formula of investing in great properties in towns and suburbs across the country, introducing our unique blend of food, drink, style and service, is one that is working for us.

“Hospitality is an integral part of life throughout the country and without it, our towns and cities would be pretty miserable places to live. We want to continue to invest but we’re not immune to external factors coming our way that will impact the pace for growth. Our industry is experiencing pressures from increased property costs, increased rate of pay from National Living Wage and general overhead inflation including energy costs. We’re trying to navigate this and won’t compromise on our high standards.

“The goal is for Scotland to be a place where hospitality businesses thrive rather than survive – communities where jobs and careers are created for local people in venues that can be enjoyed by all. This is what will drive us forward and we are confident the good momentum we are seeing will put us in the best possible position to fulfil our ambitious growth plan.”