The Restaurant Group set for a raft of closures

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

The Restaurant Group set for a raft of closures post-Coronavirus lockdown

Related tags The restaurant group Restaurant Closure Coronavirus

The Restaurant Group (TRG) is reportedly set to tell staff that a "large number" of its sites will not reopen after lockdown.

According to the BBC​, an email to staff sent from TRG's leisure arm, which includes the Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito chains, says many sites are "no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently".

“The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we’ve taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now,” the email said.

“Unfortunately, unless there are any suitable alternative roles identified, it’s likely your role will be made redundant.”

TRG declined to comment.

The group's leisure arm was already facing a notable struggle prior to the pandemic, and in February announced plans to cut the size of its estate from 350 sites to 260-275​ by the end of 2021.

More recently, TRG said it had taken the decision to combine the operations of its leisure division and concessions operations​ under the leadership of Mark Chambers, who took over the leisure arm earlier this year.

TRG, which also owns the Wagamama chain, is one of the UK's largest restaurant operators, and at the end of 2019 had more than 650 pub and restaurant sites in its UK portfolio.

However, just days after restaurants across the country were forced to close as a result of the Coronavirus, the group placed both its Tex-Mex Chiquito chain and 11-strong Food and Fuel gastropub group in to administration​.

It subsequently announced a raft of measures designed to get the group through the ongoing crisis that included more flexible banking facilities; executive pay cuts; and increasing its revolving credit facility for Wagamama from £20m to £35m, thereby adding an extra £15m to its overall debt facilities.

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