Chiquito restaurant chain is poised to become the first casual dining eatery in the restaurant sector after filing a notice of its intention to appoint administrators, putting up to 1,500 jobs at risk.
The Restaurant Group, which also owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, said it would also shut its Food and Fuel chain of pubs in London.
The move comes less than a week after the company said sales plummeted 12.5% over two weeks. A total of 60 Chiquito sites will remain closed.
A spokesman said: “Covid-19 has had an immediate and significant impact on trading across the Group.
“We have conducted a review of the performance of our business divisions, with a particular focus on the expected future cash generation profile of each of our business units.”
He added that both groups are expected to hit losses this year, “as a result, the Group has taken the very difficult decision to appoint administrators for Food & Fuel Limited and filed 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.”