Casual Dining Group (CDG) which operates restaurant brands including Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas, has announced it will permanently close 91 of its 250 sites with immediate effect and has appointed Alix Partners as administrators ahead of an anticipated sale.
The group said that, regrettably, the closures would mean a number of redundancies across the business, affecting 1,909 staff from a staff base of 5,959.
Restaurants that will close include Belgo sites in Nottingham, Covent Garden and London's Kingsway, 34 Bella Italia sites across the UK, and 31 Café Rouge sites including those in Woking, Blackheath and Leicester.
James Spragg, chief executive of CDG, said that after reviewing all options with advisers, the group needed to take the necessary action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future in the run up to an eventual sale.
He added: "We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them. Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to."
The group confirmed that its board and its advisers had received "multiple offers" for the business of which the administrators were now seeking to progress.