Mexican restaurant chain Chiquito is to close 61 stores across the UK permanently as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Restaurant Group, which owns Chiquito, said 11 Food and Fuel pubs in London will also close, and will result in the loss of almost 1,500 jobs.
It comes after the Restaurant Group announced plans to close up to 90 restaurant sites by the end of 2020 earlier this year.
The group said the closure will affect its ‘leisure portfolio’, which includes the Chiquito and Frankie and Benny’s sites, and follows the group closing 18 of its sites last year – eight of which were converted into Wagamama stores.
Chiquito was one of many restaurants forced to close following the tougher social distancing measures introduced by the prime minister to combat the outbreak.
A statement on its website reads: “We are absolutely heartbroken to announce that all our restaurants will be closing tonight until further notice – including those offering home delivery.
“We want to thank all our incredible teams and guests that made Chiquito such a fun and happy place to spend time at.”
It continued: “Right now, your health and safety must come first. It is simply not the time to be partying with your amigos. This is not a good-bye forever, just “hasta luego” for now.”
Catering Today has contacted the Restaurant Group for comment.