Frankie and Benny's to close 125 restaurants across UK

Up to 3,000 jobs are on the line as the owner of Frankie and Benny’s announced it was going to close 125 of its restaurants across the country.

Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 9:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 9:55 am
Frankie and Benny's restaurant bosses have announced 125 eateries will close.
Frankie and Benny's restaurant bosses have announced 125 eateries will close.

The North East has a number of Frankie and Benny’s restaurants including at Boldon, Washington, Dalton Park and the Metro Centre.

It is not yet known which restaurants will be affected by the closure.

The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie and Benny’s and a number of other chains, said it was seeking approval from its landlords for a deal that would let it reduce the number of restaurants it runs, and negotiate lower rents for many of those left over.

Bosses said the hospitality industry was facing “well documented” problems, after the coronavirus pandemic forced many to close their doors.

If landlords approve the deal, known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), it will leave the firm’s leisure arm with about 160 sites.

It will also allow it to exit about 25 restaurants which have already been closed.

The Restaurant Group also owns pan-Asian chain Wagamama, and runs several pubs and concessions in airports but says these will not be affected by the news.

The stores that will close are “principally” Frankie and Benny’s restaurants, it added.

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“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,” said chief executive Andy Hornby.

“The proposed CVA will deliver an appropriately-sized estate for our Leisure business to ensure we are well positioned despite the very challenging market conditions facing the casual dining sector.”

The Restaurant Group told investors last week it was struggling even before the coronavirus hit.

In March, before lockdown, the firm closed 60 of its Chiquito Mexican-style outlets, as well as its chain of pubs Food & Fuel.

The Restaurant Group said that 210 of its 285 restaurants had been identified as underperforming, on “unfavourable” lease terms, or not expected to generate profit in the future.

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