Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito to close more than 100 restaurants across UK

The owners of restaurants Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito have announced more than 100 branches will close across the UK.

The Restaurant Group, which owns the brands, says it will be looking to shut sites based in “structurally unattractive locations”.

It has earmarked 42 sites which it plans to close, in addition to another 76 Frankie & Benny’s sites it identified earlier this year.

The huge wave of closures comes after the group, which also owns Wagamama, posted an £87.7million pre-tax loss in the six months to June 30.

This was a huge drop from the £12.2 million profit it recorded in the previous year.

It came as sales at Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito continued to fall, despite improvements to the menus, along with a weak trading period during “extreme weather” and the men’s football World Cup.

A spokesman from The Restaurant Group said yesterday: "In our half year results we announced to the stock market today, we stated that the backdrop remains challenging for our Leisure division, comprising principally Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito’s.

"Responding to these headwinds in the casual dining market we stated that we expect to exit at least 50% of Leisure sites reaching their next exit date.

"We want to stress that we are by no means committing to the closure of all these sites and certainly not with any immediacy."

Over the next six years, the group says it expects 88 sites to close.

The spokesman added: "Our Leisure sites have an average of six years to their first potential exit date, so as and when leases do come up for renewal, we will take a considered and disciplined approach, on a case-by-case basis.

"When and if we do close sites we will always look to redeploy staff to other sites within our portfolio."

It is not yet known which sites will close or when they will shut, although The Restaurant Group stressed the closures won’t be immediate.

Source: Read Full Article