DRG Hospitality Group Expands Southward: New Venues in Newcastle and London

Monday, January 29, 2024

Following a successful year marked by growth and recovery, the Scotland-based hospitality group, DRG, is planning to expand its footprint south of the border.

Co-founder Mario Gizzi disclosed that DRG is currently scouting for potential sites to open a second Cafe Andaluz in Newcastle and their first venue in London.

A remarkable increase of 10% in overall sales was recorded by DRG during the previous December at all its 17 venues located in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Newcastle.

"The reception to the Stockbridge Cafe Andaluz has been exceptional and is exactly why we chose that location." Mario Gizzi

In late 2021, DRG opened a third Cafe Andaluz in Edinburgh's upmarket Stockbridge area, which has already welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors.

Gizzi, who founded the group with his uncle Joe Conetta in 1985, expressed enthusiasm about the exceptional reception to the new venue, further solidifying their plans for expansion.

The hospitality veteran, who trained as a chartered accountant in the 1980s and runs DRG alongside cousin Tony Conetta, highlighted the importance of continued government support for the sector, especially regarding business rates and VAT.

With almost 1,000 employees across its venues and the introduction of training schemes like an in-house modern apprenticeship, DRG remains committed to fostering careers in hospitality.

"a strong portfolio of brands across a broad range of sectors and food types." - Mr Gizzi

The group's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has been strong – they did not make any redundancies during the crisis – and their sales are now surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Despite the success, Gizzi urged that not all businesses in the sector have been as fortunate, emphasizing the need for wider government support to ensure the long-term sustainability of the hospitality industry.