Chiquito plus Frankie and Benny’s could close

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CHIQUITO and Frankie and Benny’s restaurants in Thurrock could be shut for good as part of a national restructure.

It comes after the restaurants’ owners, The Restaurant Group, announced their plans to close more than one hundred sites across the UK to plan for the future.

Frankie and Benny’s restaurants in Braintree, Harlow, Lakeside, Basildon and Colchester are all at risk of shutting down, as well as Chiquito branches in Colchester and Harlow.

The group recorded more than an £87 million pre-tax loss in the six months leading up to June 30 this year, and has recently acquired Japanese food chain Wagamama, reports Wales Online.

On a national scale, The Restaurant Group has identified 42 new sites it plans to leave, on top of the 76 Frankie & Benny’s restaurants it earmarked for closure earlier this year.

The locations identified for closure are currently unknown, but the company said they expect at least 50 per cent of their current leases to expire at their next exit date.

A spokesman for The Restaurant Group said the company will consider the leases of each restaurant on a “case-by-case basis”.

A statement read: “In our half year results we announced to the stock market today, we stated that the backdrop remains challenging for our leisure division, comprising principally Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito’s.

“Responding to these headwinds in the casual dining market we stated that we expect to exit at least 50% of leisure sites reaching their next exit date.

“We want to stress that we are by no means committing to the closure of all these sites and certainly not with any immediacy.

“Our leisure sites have an average of six years to their first potential exit date, so as and when leases do come up for renewal, we will take a considered and disciplined approach, on a case-by-case basis.

“When and if we do close sites we will always look to redeploy staff to other sites within our portfolio.”

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