Hickory’s like-for-like sales up 25% since December

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

The only way is up: Hickory's Smokehouse continues to outperform Covid trade levels
The only way is up: Hickory's Smokehouse continues to outperform Covid trade levels

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The group behind Hickory’s Smokehouse has continued to outperform pre-Covid levels of trade in 2022 with like-for-like sales up 40% from May 2021, and 25% since December 2021.

What’s more, the company has showcased sales of £19.5m for year ending 30 April 2021, revealed Companies House accounts, marking the group’s first full year trading under Covid restrictions. 

During the pandemic, Hickory’s At Home was launched with the aim of helping local communities, and providing struggling families with hot meals. Working alongside Cash For Kids, the team provided thousands of meals and raised more than £125,000 for the charity in 11 months. 

Hickory’s managing direction John Welsh said the company was pleased with the latest set of results after a testing couple of years. 

Covid trade

He added: “I’d like to thank all our teams for the extraordinary work and dedication they have shown throughout the pandemic. As well as rising to all the challenges, their amazing fundraising efforts with Cash For Kids have helped so many communities in need.  

“As we hopefully enter the final stages of the pandemic, we look forward to building on this success and bringing the fun and spirit of Hickory’s to many more guests."

The Southern-barbecue style group has also opened two sites in Wilmslow and Nuthall with further restaurants to follow in 2022. 

In January 2020, the brand secured a £13m funding package from lender ThinCats to spur its roll out of restaurants. Since then, the company has expanded its number of sites to 16. 

Expanding estate

In 2021, the group took over the former Marston’s pub, the Malt House in Horbury. The site will open its doors this spring after a full refurbishment, and will include a new open kitchen and chef’s bar, alongside a cinema room, dining space and bar area. 

Hickory’s won the Publican Award for Best Brand/Concept in 2020 and was founded in Chester by Neil McDonnell in 2010 following research into the American BBQ and smokehouse sector. Backed by consumer brands investor Piper, the team operates 14 restaurants across the Midlands and north West. 

The company has recently appointed BDO to advise on its growth strategy. 

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