Bury St Edmunds Suffolk UK
Image Source: Martin Pettitt
TRG confirmed plans to close 125 sites, with a further 85 sites under review.
Chloe Shakesby

Frankie & Benny's owner confirms plans that could see more than 200 restaurants close

A national restaurant owner has today confirmed plans that would see more than 200 sites at risk of closure.

The Restaurant Group, which reported on Monday that it was in talks with landlords over the future of 120 of its restaurants, today confirmed plans to close 125 sites, with a further 85 at risk.

It said that those 85 sites’ futures will be subject to a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms.

There was no reference to the potential job losses this may cause in today’s statement, but in an email sent to staff earlier this week, TRG told employees at 120 of its sites “it’s likely your role will be made redundant”.

The company said that the closures will principally affect its Frankie & Benny’s chain, and reflect its “proactive approach to ensuring a long-term sustainable business”.

Andy Hornby, chief executive of TRG, commented: “The issues facing our sector are well documented and we have already taken decisive action to improve our liquidity, reduce our cost base and downsize our operations.

“The proposed CVA [company voluntary arrangement] will deliver an appropriately-sized estate for our leisure business to ensure we are well positioned despite the very challenging market conditions facing the casual dining sector.

“I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of my TRG colleagues for their continued understanding and extraordinary commitment during this unprecedented period.”

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), added: “These situations are never easy, particularly now for the retail and hospitality businesses on our high streets at the sharp end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Property owners, however, need to take into consideration the impact on their investors, including the millions of people whose savings and pensions are invested in commercial property, as they vote on any CVA proposal.

“The Restaurant Group and Alix Partners engaged with the BPF before launching this CVA proposal.

“This has provided us an opportunity to improve understanding of property owners’ interests and concerns, but ultimately it will be for individual property owners to decide how they will vote on the CVA.”

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