Paul Masters, Conrad Beighton and Julien Irving of Leonard Curtis Recovery have been appointed as administrators.
The remaining restaurants will continue to trade as normal under the joint administrators’ control, while a solution is sought that will ‘will enable as many jobs as possible to be preserved’.
Leonard Curtis Recovery has said that it intends to seek approval from the companies’ creditors to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”), ‘which is considered to be the best outcome for all creditors’. However, if that cannot be achieved, a buyer will be sought for the business.
The Birmingham-based company, led by Chris Sargeant, was founded in 2006. It appointed former Frankie & Benny’s managing director, Kevin Bacon, as non-executive chairman in September 2016. In May 2016 it announced plans to open 15 new stores over the next three years.
Though no official reason has yet been given for the company’s collapse, increased competition, rising food and staffing costs, and increased business costs such as business rates, are thought to be squeezing margins for many operators competing for leisure spend.