Several Frankie & Benny's outlets are to remain closed permanently after lockdown, as certain sites are deemed "no longer viable to trade” due to the pandemic.
Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) is one of the biggest restaurant operators in Britain and also owns the popular restaurants Chiquito and Wagamama.
In February this year, TRG announced plans for the closure of up to 90 Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito branches by the end of 2021, with the intention of converting 12 of these sites into Wagamama outlets.
Closures due to Covid-19
TRG bosses sent an email on Wednesday 3 June to staff in the group’s Leisure Division, stating that “a large number” of sites “will remain closed permanently".
The email blamed the ongoing pandemic for creating financial issues. It said: "The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we've taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now."
Due to the pandemic TRG had to place roughly 22,000 of its staff on the government’s furlough scheme, however many will now face redundancy.
Addressing the future of staff jobs, the email said: "Unfortunately, unless there are any suitable alternative roles identified, it's likely your role will be made redundant."
Which restaurants will be affected?
It is currently not known which sites will be affected, or how many.
However, managers at over 200 Frankie & Benny's restaurants were all sent the email explaining the closures.
The restaurant chain owns 236 sites in the UK, which may be affected by the recently announced closures.
Some of these locations include the UK’s biggest cities, such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Other chain closures
Additionally, at the end of March TRG fell into administration, and permanently closed the majority of its Tex-Mex Chiquito restaurants at the onset of lockdown.
These closures were believed to have cost around 1,500 people their jobs. In addition to this, the group decided to close all of its London-based Food & Fuel pubs.
Currently its other restaurant chains, which include trg concessions, Bruning & Price, Coast to Coast, Firejacks, Joes Kitchen and Garfunkel’s are temporarily closed as per the government’s coronavirus lockdown measures.
Lockdown saw several other brands fall into administration earlier this year in March, such as Italian restaurant chain, Carluccio’s.
Carluccio’s had roughly 100 branches and over 2000 members of staff which were made redundant due to the pandemic.