THE restaurant sector is not the easiest place to be in difficult economic times.

But The DRG (Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group) has shown it is possible not only to hold your own but also to achieve major and profitable expansion against such a backdrop.

Household finances have, overall, been under pressure ever since the global financial crisis got under way in earnest in 2008 and ushered in deep recession. It is now many years since the recession ended but austerity and a poor UK economic performance have ensured consumers have remained under pressure.

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All of this has been exacerbated by a renewed fall in real wages, fuelled by an inflation surge amid sterling’s post-Brexit vote woes.

At times such as these, consumer-facing businesses with a keen awareness of their market and an ability to serve it are the ones most likely to progress. The revelation in The DRG’s accounts that it notched up fresh record turnover in its last financial year, of nearly £35 million, is yet another signal that Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta have plenty of this awareness and ability.

The DRG, like many hospitality businesses, faces challenges arising from Brexit in terms of staff availability, given the tumble in net migration to the UK from other European Union countries following the Brexit vote.

However, its directors have shown over the years that they do not mind a challenge. And the business, with its diversified portfolio of restaurants, its many prime locations, and soon a Glasgow aparthotel, looks well-positioned to deal with the lamentable Brexit fall-out and the ongoing economic malaise.