Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner to close 27 restaurants risking hundreds of jobs

The branches are set to close as part of a turnaround plan if creditors vote in favour

Death of the UK high street: Retailers gone since 2008

Hundreds of jobs are at risk after the owner of restaurant chains Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner announced plans to close 27 branches.

Boparan Restaurant Group will shut the sites as part of a company voluntary arrangement, a tool businesses use to reduce debts.

Several well-known companies, including restaurant chains such as Byron Burger, Carluccio’s and Prezzo, embarked on CVAs last year, amid worsening market conditions.

Boparan bought Giraffe from Tesco in 2016, and also owns a number of grocery brands, including Goodfella’s pizza and Fox’s biscuits.

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 oversupply 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 handle the process, with the proposal to be put to a creditor vote in March.

Will Wright, restructuring partner at KPMG, said the turnaround plan would put the business on a surer financial footing.

“Importantly, it constitutes one element of a wider financial and operational turnaround plan which, subject to the CVA's approval, will see an injection of funding into the business from the company's majority shareholder,” Mr Wright said.

BRG owns a number of other household names, including fish and chip restaurant Harry Ramsden and the upmarket Cinnamon Collection.

BRG acquired Giraffe from Tesco in 2016, and later combined it with Ed's Easy Diner, with the two brands generating a combined annual turnover of £67.1m.

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

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