Giraffe’s owner announces plans to close 27 restaurants putting hundreds of jobs at risk

THE owner of two major dining chains has announced plans to close dozens of stores.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 9:32 am
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 10:35 am
Giraffe's owner announces plans to close dozens of restaurants. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Giraffe's owner announces plans to close dozens of restaurants. Picture: Allan Hutchings

Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), which owns Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Dinner, have announced plans to shut 27 of its 87 restaurants by entering a company voluntary arrangement. 

The move will put hundreds of jobs at risk across the country. 

Giraffe have a restaurant at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth but it is not yet known which sites are at risk of closure. 

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Giraffe's owner announces plans to close dozens of restaurants. Picture: Allan Hutchings

The company said that although like-for-like sales had improved at the brands since they were acquired, several sites remained unprofitable.

Tom Crowley, chief executive of BRG, said: ‘We have been examining options for the two brands for some time and the CVA is the only option to protect the company.

‘The combination of increasing costs and over-supply of restaurants in the sector and a softening of consumer demand have all contributed to the challenges both these brands face.’

Advisers from KPMG will oversee the process, as the proposal now goes to a creditor vote.

BRG are based in Birmingham and acquired Giraffe from Tesco in 2016 for an undisclosed sum. 

The supermarket giant had purchased the restaurant chain in 2013 for £50 million.

The closest Ed's Easy Dinner is in Southampton, it was purchased by Boparan Holdings in October 2016. 

The company also owns Bernard Matthews and Harry Ramsden's fish and chip restaurants. 

It is also the master franchisee for US brand Slim Chickens, which first opened in the UK last year.

Giraffe and Ed's Easy Dinner form a combined entity, which in the most recently available accounts had annual turnover of £67.1 million.

In the same period, underlying losses came to £1.6 million.

Last year, several casual dining brands overhauled their businesses, with some closing sites, amid rising costs and tougher competition in the sector.

Prezzo, Jamie's Italian, Byron, Carluccio's, Gaucho and Gourmet Burger Kitchen all shut restaurants.