Frankie & Benny's Is Officially Closing 125 Restaurants
Frankie & Benny's has confirmed plans to permanently close 125 of its restaurants, it was announced today.
The Restaurant Group - which owns Frankie & Benny's, Wagamama, Chiquito and Garfunkel's - said it had been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that restaurants are facing serious challenges following the crisis.
The move could potentially put thousands of jobs at risk, with the company explaining it is entering into a 'company voluntary arrangement' (CVA) which will enable The Restaurant Group to restructure its business and in the process close some of its less profitable restaurants.
Although it is predominantly Frankie & Benny's that will be impacted, other chains such as Chiquito and Garfunkel's could be affected, although Wagamama has not fallen into this category and will remain open.
The company is also seeking rent reduction on 85 other Frankie & Benny's sites across the UK.
The Restaurant Group CEO, Andy Hornby said: "The issues facing our sector are well documented and we have already taken decisive action to improve our liquidity, reduce our cost base and downsize our operations.
"I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of my TRG colleagues for their continued understanding and extraordinary commitment during this unprecedented period."
The Restaurant Group currently has approximately 600 outlets across the UK, with around 22,000 workers on furlough.
Along with other food outlets across the UK, Frankie & Benny's closed their doors for lockdown on 23rd March, following Boris Johnson's address to the nation.
At the time, they said: "Things have moved incredibly fast in the last week - it's been nothing short of a rollercoaster.
"A few days ago we made the announcement to convert some of our locations to delivery-only restaurants.
"Today we have made the decision to temporarily cease the delivery operations too. At this time, staying in is crucial to containing the spread of the coronavirus. So with safety of teams & guests in mind, we want to make sure that everyone can follow the advice of social distancing and stay home #stayhome."
As many restaurants begin to reopen for takeaway and delivery, it is unclear when the chain's remaining sites will welcome customers again - but we sure hope it's soon!
Featured Image Credit: PA