Belgian lunch formula Exki has ended a fourth consecutive year with a loss. To return to profit, the chain is now looking to expand into supermarkets and partner with meal box suppliers.
Another year, another loss for Exki: the Brussels-based restaurant chain posted a fourth consecutive annual in 2022. Still, the owners are determined to keep expanding, courtesy of a capital increase of 7.5 million euros this spring and government loans.
The new strategy takes Exki into new channels: its healthy lunches, breakfasts and snacks should soon be available in supermarkets, online and in company canteens. In this way, the chain is fueling the rivalry with counterpart Foodmaker, which is ending this year with record sales and a significant new deal.
“Much more selective”
Like Foodmaker, Exki wants to focus on supermarket sales. With its smart refrigerators, the formula also wants to supply meals to companies, hospitals and universities. To have an online presence as well as offer home delivery, Exki is also partnering with meal box suppliers eFarmz and Ekomenu. This is in contrast to its rival, which believes more in takeaway points.
Expansion is also back on the menu for the restaurants after the pandemic, although today this is done “much more selectively” than before, CEO Frédéric Rouvez told De Tijd and L’Echo. The focus is now more on airports and stations, arranged through franchising. This year, new branches already opened in Metz and Marseille, with Paris to be added soon. By 2023, Exki should turn a profit again, with an EBITDA margin of 15 % in 2025. Only then will the chain have recovered to pre-corona levels.