Almost 20 well-known restaurants will shut their doors for the last time in a mass closure. The chains Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Firejacks have announced that the outlets will cease trading after their last shifts on Saturday, May 27.
They are all owned by The Restaurant Group (TRG) which has said the decision was made because they were loss-making branches. The closures are set to save the company around £5 million.
Earlier this year it revealed a total of 35 were set to close and now it has brought forward plans to close the 18 branches tomorrow. TRG said it had negotiated to exit a number of contacts ahead of schedule, the Mirror reports.
This weekend, 12 Frankie & Benny’s sites will close, four Chiquito, and a single Firejacks will close. This takes the total number of restaurants closed his month to 23 – six Frankie and Benny’s restaurants closed earlier this month.
These closures included sites in Carmarthen, Blackpool, Chesterfield, Leeds, Tamworth, and Tunbridge Wells.
A Restaurant Group spokesperson said: “We announced a review of our leisure estate in March and made the difficult decision to exit some of our Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito sites.
“We are working closely with our impacted teams and will look to redeploy colleagues to neighbouring sites across our wider estate wherever possible.”
The Restaurant Group currently runs 410 venues across the UK which includes the brands Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito, Wagamamas, Brunning & Price and Coast to Coast.
It hit the headlines this week when shareholders revolted against a bumper pay deal for boss Andy Hornby, after four years of losses. A number of investors, led by activist fund manager Oasis Management, protested against the “unpalatable” pay of the firm’s chief executive.
Mr Hornby received a total pay package worth £792,000 for 2022, including an annual bonus of £125,000. It came after the company posted an £86.8 million loss for the year.
5.5% of Restaurant Group shareholders voted against the company’s pay report for last year at the firm’s annual general meeting in London. However, the company ultimately secured the majority approval needed to pass the deal.
In a statement, the company, which also owns the Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito chains, said: “It is noted that a significant minority did not support certain of the substantive remuneration resolutions.
“The remuneration committee intends to keep the remuneration policy under active review to ensure it remains appropriate to the group’s evolution and aligned to stakeholder interests and will provide an update on that review within the statutory six-month timescale.”
The Restaurant Group are not the only chain to close sites over the last few years.
Popular casual dining chains such as Bella Italia, Zizzi’s Pizza Express and Wahaca have all had to close sites due to finances.
Frankie and Benny’s closing
Birmingham – Plaza
Norwich – Riverside
Peterborough – Pavilions West