Azzurri and Prezzo draft in advisors to consider options

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Azzurri and Prezzo both draft in advisors to help negotiate Coronavirus fallout

Related tags Coronavirus Restaurant Casual dining

Two of the UK’s major casual dining players have individually drafted in consultants to help negotiate the fallout from the ongoing Coronavirus shutdown.

The Sunday Times​ reports that The Azzurri Group has turned to KPMG as it looks to find a way out of the crisis; while Italian restaurant chain Prezzo has appointed FRP Advisory to to consider its post-Coronavirus funding options, according to Sky News​.

Azzurri, which operates Ask, Zizzi and Coco di Mama, has suspended payments to landlords; is using the Government’s furlough scheme to pay most of its staff; and currently waiting to find out if it is eligible for a business interruption loan.

CEO Steve Holmes, who is lobbying ministers to extend the job retention scheme, has said KPMG would help the business make the “right decisions at the right time”.

Speaking to BigHospitality​, Holmes says that businesses has been working hard during lockdown to ensure it is ready once restaurants are allowed to reopen.

“The business has gone through a tremendous amount of change in such a short space of time and I’ve been seriously impressed by the resolve and positivity of out team in this incredibly challenging time,” he says.

“The one thing I want to build on from the adversity is how the closer relationships that have been formed can be harnessed so that when we come out the other side we are stronger and hungrier and more match fit than never before.”

“As an optimist, I like to think people will be desperate to go back to restaurants.”

Prezzo, meanwhile, is working with FRP to explore the implications of the Covid-19 ​crisis for its balance sheet.

In 2018 the chain entered into a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) that saw it close dozens of underperforming sites.

It now operates 180 restaurants in total, all of which the company says were profitable before the Coronavirus outbreak.

A Prezzo spokeswoman told Sky News​: "We entered this entirely unexpected closure after a period of strong trading, which has given us the impetus and momentum to be able to drive through to reopening. 

"Given the continuing uncertainty around the reopening of hospitality in the UK, appointing advisers is a sensible precautionary measure to ensure we have best advice available to us as we respond to this pandemic and look forward to the important period of reopening."

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more