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Administrators called in for tex-mex chain Chiquito

27 March 2020

Administrators called in for tex-mex chain Chiquito

The majority of Tex-Mex dining chain, Chiquito, is to close after the owner of the chain have had to call in administrators, prompted by the coronavirus crisis.

The Restaurant Group, also owners of Wagamama’s and Frankie & Benny’s, has hit the news recently for the struggles it is facing in coping with the business environment today – even before the coronavirus outbreak hit.

It got worse when the government forced all restaurants to shut earlier this week to bring the UK in to a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The restaurant group have now said they will not be re-opening 61 of its 80 Chiquito branches as well as 11 of its Food and Fuel chain of pubs in London.

This decision is set to lead to almost 1,500 job losses.

Not being alone in the causal dining sector, the Chiquito chain has been struggling with falling sales and profits. In just two weeks sales of the chain had plummeted by 12.5 per cent.

Customers have turned their backs on mid-market restaurant chains over the last two years as seen by the collapse of Byron Burgers, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire. Just recently, warnings have been shared for Marston’s, Mitchell’s & Butlers, who own Toby Carvery and All Bar One.

A spokesperson for The Restaurant Group said that it expected the two chains to make a loss during 2020 and stated that COVID-19 has had a significant and negative impact on the group.

‘’We have conducted a review of the performance of our business decisions, with a particular focus on the expected future cash generation profile of each of our business units.’’

The outcome of the review being to appoint administrators for Food & Fuel limited and file a notice of intention to appoint an administrator for Chiquito Limited.

‘’The decisions have been incredibly difficult, and we recognise the significant impact on all of our colleagues that are affected. We thank them for their hard work and commitment during these very testing times.’’

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