‘Chicken King’ Boparan Set To Close 27 Giraffe And Ed’s Easy Diner Sites

As the turmoil the casual dining sector continues, more jobs are at risk as the owner of the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains announces plans to close a third of their sites under a rescue deal, as it seeks a creditors voluntary arrangement.

The Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), owned by ‘chicken king’ Ranjit Singh Boparan, said 27 of the brands’ 87 restaurants would go under the proposed agreement with landlords.

It explained that despite some sales improvements since they were bought by the group in 2016, some unprofitable stores remained, and it was now forced to seek a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

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.”

CVAs require support from landlords and other creditors to proceed, however they are becoming increasingly controversial with landlords particularly vocal in their opposition amid a number of CVAs last year as retailers and casual dining brands on the high street battled against rising costs and consumer caution.

Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian, Byron, Carluccio’s, Gaucho and Gourmet Burger Kitchen all shut restaurants in 2018 to ease the strain on their finances.

BRG said KPMG would be overseeing the CVA process.