Le Pain Quotidien owner enters administration

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Le Pain Quotidien owner enters administration

Related tags Le Pain Quotidien bakery Casual dining Administration

Belgian bakery and coffee chain Le Pain Quotidien has gone into administration with all but one if it sites closed.

The brand, which is operated by Brunchco UK, has closed seven of its stores across London, including on Marylebone High Street, Covent Garden, South Kensington, Mayfair, and Hyde Park, according to City A.M.

Brunchco UK Limited operated nine restaurants in total, eight of which were in London and one in Oxford.

Just one site in St Pancras, which is operated by SPQ Holdings, remains open and is understood to not be impacted.

Le Pain Quotidien has struggled in recent years with the Coronavirus pandemic piling on the pressure. In April 2020 it was reported to be close to collapse ​amid a search for a buyer for its UK operations, which then had 26 sites.

In June 2020 the UK business was bought by BrunchCo​,​ a subsidiary of a newly-formed holding company named BrunchCo 21 SA, with 11 sites closed.

In October the same year it appointed Steven Whibley​, formerly of Gail’s Bakery and an original franchisee of Le Pain Quotidien UK, as its new managing director to steer the company as it emerged from lockdown.

The chain filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in its US division the same year, closing all 98 of its US stores.

Since then, it has reopened stores in some US locations, including New York.

Joint administrators Sarah Rayment and Philip Dakin of Kroll Advisory are managing the process. In a statement Kroll says that the company has explored several options to enable the business to continue as a going concern, including considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement and launching a sale process for the sale of the Company’s business and assets. However, while offers were received none were capable of being transacted, it adds, with all trading ceasing on Thursday 29 June.

“Pressures on parts of the hospitality and casual dining sector have been well highlighted. Brunchco UK Limited which is predominantly located in London has suffered from reduced revenues as a result of decreased footfall in the Capital, high rents and increased wage costs. As part of the next steps of the insolvency, we will be looking to realise value from the Company’s leasehold interests and other assets," says Rayment, global co-head restructuring at Kroll.

All 250 employees have been made redundant.

Last year Le Pain Quotidien become the latest high street restaurant brand to look to diversify by getting its products into supermarkets in apartnershio with Taste Shakers​.

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