Frankie & Benny's owner pledges to improve chicken welfare

Friday, 11th October 2019: The Restaurant Group has announced that it will meet the higher chicken welfare criteria in the European Chicken Commitment by 2026.
calendar icon 18 October 2019
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The business owns well-known national brands including Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Brunning & Price, Coast to Coast, Garfunkel’s, and Joe’s Kitchen.

Rob Beale, Purchasing Director of The Restaurant Group said: “I’m delighted that we have signed up to the European Chicken Commitment. Animal welfare is of utmost importance to our business and customers and we have been taking positive steps to advance our performance in this area over recent years, including from switching to free range eggs across our business and to sourcing sustainably certified fish. This was the next logical step for us and is an extremely ambitious commitment. We look forward to working with others in the industry to tackle this challenge together”.

Vicky Bond, Managing Director of The Humane League UK, said: "We applaud The Restaurant Group for committing to the European Chicken Commitment, creating meaningful change for chickens in their supply chain.

“This commitment, from one of the UK's biggest hospitality businesses operating over 650 restaurants and pubs up and down the country, will benefit countless chickens per year. We are delighted to see them joining the ranks of an increasing number of companies looking to make these positive improvements to the welfare of chickens."

The Restaurant Group-owned brand wagamama signed up to the European Chicken Commitment in May, followed by KFC in July, who became the first in the fast-food sector to do so. Other companies in the restaurant sector who have committed include Zizzi, ASK Italian, Prezzo and Carluccio’s.

The criteria of the commitment was agreed upon in 2018 by leading animal protection groups across Europe, as a means to urgently reduce the suffering of chickens reared for meat.

It contains six key measures aimed at moving away from the standard intensive factory farming of chickens including prohibiting fast-growing breeds, which are often the cause of severe health and welfare issues, and providing more space, natural light and enrichment.

The Humane League UK estimates that over 50 brands have now committed, marking the beginning of a market shift away from the cruellest production methods.

Vicky Bond concluded: “The restaurant sector is doing the right thing by responding to heightened consumer awareness of animal welfare issues and demand for higher welfare animal products. As with the shift towards cage-free eggs in recent years, this latest commitment shows that this is clearly the direction the sector is moving now, and we would urge other hospitality businesses to follow suit.”

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