ALMOST 2,000 jobs will be lost as Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge bosses announced the closure of 91 of their restaurants.
More than 1,900 jobs are set to be cut as owner, Casual Dining Group said it would shutter almost 100 sites after calling in administrators.
Administrators were called in in May after the groups 250 restaurants – which includes Las Iguanas – had been closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the majority of their staff furloughed.
The board said that entering administration was in the best interest of stakeholders during the "extreme operating environment" it is having to trade through.
It is looking for a new owner, but said that the administration would allow it to end negotiations with landlords, a "critical step" before finding a buyer.
Chief executive James Spragg said: "After reviewing all our options with advisers, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale.
"We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them. 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."
Administrator Clare Kennedy, from Alix Partners, said: ""We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for all those associated with Casual Dining Group.
"Our immediate priorities are to assist those whose employment has been affected by today's announcement and to secure a sale for the group in order to protect jobs and provide the Group's much-loved brands with a sustainable platform for the future."
FULL LIST OF SITES CLOSING
Soton Above Bar
Bury St Edmonds
Maidstone Earl St
Café Rouge Rapide Inverness Airport
The George Ale & Coffee House (T5)
The Darwin Ale & Coffee House (T3)
Oriel Heathrow T4
La Salle Heathrow T2
Bella Italia Luton
Oriel Heathrow T3
Huxleus Heathrow T5
The Shipyard Jersey
More to follow…
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