Frankie & Benny's To Shut 'Large Number' Of Stores Permanently
The restaurant chain temporarily closed all its UK outlets on 23 March to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Bosses at the company that owns the chain, the Restaurant Group, sent an email to staff telling them a 'large number' of branches are 'no longer viable to trade' and won't reopen.
As reported by the BBC, staff will be receiving an email today (3 June) to advise if their workplace will re-open after lockdown rules are relaxed and restaurants are allowed to reopen.
The email read: "The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we've taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now."
The message was sent to managers that work for the group's Leisure Division, which includes more than 200 of the chain's outlets, but it's not yet been confirmed publicly which restaurants will stay shut or how many.
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Anyone whose job is currently based at one of the sites not reopening was told: "Unfortunately, unless there are any suitable alternative roles identified, it's likely your role will be made redundant."
The Restaurant Group declined to comment when contacted by LADbible.
The group is one of the biggest restaurant owners in the UK and also owns Wagamama and Tex-Mex brand Chiquito. Around 22,000 of its staff are currently receiving furlough payments from the government.
Wagamama staff are said to not be included in the latest developments. Chiquito however announced in March that 61 of its 80 branches would also close permanently as it fell into administration.
Chiquito said that Covid-19 had an 'immediate and significant' effect on its business and trading.
Pubs and restaurants were closed for business when coronavirus restrictions were put into place back in March. Some have since opened for delivery and collection, but only takeaway food is allowed to be sold, with dining in still not an option three months later.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has confirmed that pubs, restaurants and hotels will be among the last to reopen when the coronavirus lockdown is relaxed.
When he was asked on BBC's Andrew Marr Show whether we could see them reopening before the winter, Gove replied: "Areas of hospitality will be among the last to exit the lockdown, yes that is true, they will be among the last."
Featured Image Credit: PA