Thousands of jobs could be at risk after the owner of Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Café Rouge announced it was working with administrators.
The Casual Dining Group, which owns around more than 200 restaurants across the UK, confirmed it was hiring Alix Partners to consider all possible options.
CDG is also the owner of Belgo, Huxleys and Oriel Grand Brasserie – leaving its 6,000 employees fearing for their futures.
A spokesperson for the company stated: “As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps.
“These notifications are a prudent measure in light of the company’s position and the wider situation. These notifications will also protect the company from any threatened potential legal action from landlords while we review the detail of the government advice and formulate a plan for the company in these difficult times.”
Filing a notice of intent to appoint administrators has given CDG ten days to come up with a restructuring plan whilst protecting them from creditors, with some anticipating closures of the less popular branches.
CDG is the not the first hospitality group to be forced into a financial corner due to COVID-19.
Since the outbreak, popular chains such as Carluccio’s, Byron Burger, Chiquitos and Frankie & Bennie’s have all had to close sites in the UK.
Restaurants have been forced to close since March, with many hoping to reopen with social distancing measures intact on July 4 as part of Phase Three in the UK lockdown exit roadmap.