Gourmet Holdings is to ditch its gastropub chain Bel and the Dragon after a "disappointing" performance.
The company has put the six-strong group on the market through property agents Christie's. Four are branded Bel and the Dragon and two are unbranded. All offer a mix of British and Mediterranean cooking.
Gourmet said it planned instead to concentrate on its all-day dining restaurant operation Richoux, of which there are currently four in the UK.
In a move to cut costs, chief executive Gareth Lloyd-Jones has been made redundant, and chairman Nigel Whittaker has today stepped down from his role.
The duties of chairman will be carried out by non-executive director Richard Scott, and managing director Andrew Guy has assumed sole executive responsibility.
Group turnover in the 52-weeks ended 25 June 2006 increased to £10.24m from £9.75m in 2005.
Operating loss before trading exceptionals was £23,000 (compared with a profit of £421,000 in 2005), largely because of poor trading in the company's non-branded pubs, which lost £275,000 in the year.
By Chris Druce