Good morning!

A slow start this morning.

I was out last night in Carluccio's in Dublin.

This restaurant chain has been in the news in recent months, as creditors agreed to a CVA. 30% of UK sites are closing while the rest will benefit from an investment programme. I have read that £10 million is being ploughed in by its majority owner, the Dubai-based Landmark Group.

Nothing was out of place last night, however - apart from a very loud fire alarm, which caused patrons to run for their lives (just kidding, nobody panicked).

It was a great value menu, very flavourful and authentic, reflecting well on this medium-sized chain sticking to its roots. I had olives, calamari and chicken saltimbocca. A large photograph of a romantic Italian town served as the backdrop to our seating.

It's a shame that so many restaurant chains are struggling, even those providing such an excellent service to customers. Reading around some commentary on Carluccio's closures, it's clear that the pain is also being keenly felt by smaller chains and independent restaurants who lack the resources of the larger groups.

Things will remain desperate until supply matches demand. There is no other solution that I can think of, apart from fewer restaurants. There are still too many empty chairs at empty tables.



The RNS wire is a bit quiet today.

I am planning to take a look at:



FairFX (LON:FFX)

  • Share price: 129p (+13%)
  • No. of shares: 155 million
  • Market cap: £200 million

Half-Year Trading Statement

This is an international payments group, serving both retail and corporate customers. I last covered it at its full year results in April.

Foreign exchange is a gigantic industry and an exciting place for new entrants at the moment, due to the complacency of high street banks.

Banks know that most people won't shop around, so their rates tend to be uncompetitive.

More and more people are shopping around, however. Consider the increasing popularity of the services provided by pawnbrokers Ramsdens Holdings (LON:RFX) and…

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