UK Business News

Frankie & Benny´s owner to shut 90 restaurants by the end of 2021

Frankie & Benny´s owner to shut 90 restaurants by the end of 2021Frankie & Benny´s owner to shut 90 restaurants by the end of 2021

The Restaurant Group (TRG) – owner of Frankie & Benny´s, Chiquito and Wagamamas – has announced plans to close up to 90 restaurant sites by the end of next year.

After the closures were confirmed last year, it was planned that they should happen over a six-year period. TRG has now decided to speed up these shutdowns, while also temporarily suspending its dividend.

Shares in The Restaurant Group have fallen by more than 6 per cent.

In 2019, 18 Frankie & Benny´s and Chiquito sites were closed due to a decrease in customer spending within the UK´s casual dining industry. It was announced on Wednesday that the 350 currently active restaurants would be cut down to between 260 and 275.

All of the outlets expected to close will either be Frankie & Benny´s or Chiquito; out of these closures, it is expected that between seven and 12 will be transformed into Wagamamas.

The Restaurant Group fell to a pre-tax loss of £87.7m in the first half of last year, compared to a profit of £12.2m profit the previous year, after taking a £100m writedown on the Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito brands.

To avoid redundancies, staff members working for the branches at risk will be offered new roles in restaurants that are within a reasonable driving distance.

Out-of-town retail park locations have suffered a drop in visitors during recent years and for this reason, are expected to be the focal point for closures. Andy Hornby, the chief executive who joined the company back in August, is expected to announce which of the underperforming sites will be targeted.