The Restaurant Group confirms restructuring talks

The Restaurant Group has confirmed it has entered discussions with its landlords regarding the “potential restructuring” of its Leisure estate. 

The group’s Leisure Division, which includes its Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito and Garfunkel’s sites, does not impact trading across the group’s Wagamama chain. 

It comes only days after news that a “large number” of Frankie and Benny’s sites would not reopen following lockdown.

According to an email seen by the BBC, the owners of the casual dining chain said that many sites are “no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently.”

The email, sent to managers across the group’s Leisure Division, added that the “Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we’ve taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now”.

In a statement released today (8 June), the Restaurant Group said: “As is widely understood our industry is facing exceptional challenges in what is an unprecedented operating environment.  

“The casual dining sector was already facing significant challenges prior to the onset of Covid-19, with overcapacity and significant cost pressures.”

It added: “In order to meet both the immediate challenges and to build a post-lockdown business with a sustainable future, we are in discussions with our landlords regarding potential restructuring options for our Leisure estate.  

“Our Wagamama, airport concessions and pub operations are not affected by these discussions. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”

The group had initially announced in February that it was planning to close 90 sites by 2021, with closures set to affect its Leisure Division. It follows on from the closure of 18 group sites last year.

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