Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge have gone into administration - here’s how it will affect the restaurants

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Friday, 3rd July 2020, 11:29 am
Casual Dining Group, the owner of restaurant chain Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge, has entered into administration (Photo: Shutterstock)

Casual Dining Group, the owner of restaurant chain Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge, has entered into administration.

A total of 91 of the firm’s restaurants will close immediately, with 1,900 staff to lose their jobs.

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The restaurants set to close are mainly located in England. However, some are in Scotland and Wales. In total, 159 of the group's 250 branches will remain open.

Applied to appoint administrators in May

Casual Dining Group, which also owns the Las Iguanas brand, applied to appoint administrators at the High Court in May of this year, after finding it difficult to pay its rents.

The company said on Monday 18 May that it was working with advisers from corporate finance firm, AlixPartners, over a potential restructuring programme.

When filing to appointment administrators in May, a Casual Dining Group spokesperson said, "As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps.

"These notifications are a prudent measure in light of the company's position and the wider situation."

Administrators Alix Partners are now seeking offers for all, or parts, of the remaining business.

On 3 July, the company said it had already received "multiple offers" for the business and that it hoped to pursue these.

"We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them," chief executive James Spragg commented.

"Working alongside the administrators, we will do everything we can to support them through this process, with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to."

Other restaurant companies cutting jobs

Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza owner, SSP Group, has recently said it will cut up to 5,000 roles.

Byron has also said that it plans to bring in administrators, which could put 1,200 jobs at risk.

The popular burger restaurant chain filed a notice to appoint administrators from KPMG on Monday 29 June. Byron currently employs around 1,200 staff and runs 51 sites.

The burger chain is believed to be in talks with three potential buyers, who could buy the firm as a whole, or parts of it. This would be part of a so-called ‘pre-pack’ administration deal, where a company sells all or some of its assets to a predetermined buyer, and appoints administrators in order to do so.