Ipswich jobs at risk as coronavirus puts Chiquito into administration

N Chiquito Ravenswood opened in 2013 following development of the site Picture: ARCHANT

N Chiquito Ravenswood opened in 2013 following development of the site Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Jobs are at risk in Ipswich as the Chiquito restaurant chain is put into administration as it struggles to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week The Restaurant Group (TRG), which owns Chiquito along with Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, said their sales had plummeted by 12.5% over two weeks.

A total of 60 Chiquito sites will remain shut, as well as a chain of pubs in London called Food & Fuel also owned by TRG. Around 1,500 jobs are likely to be affected by the move.

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A spokesman for TRG 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.

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“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.”

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It is not yet known which of the branches will re-open after the lockdown is lifted, but an announcement is expected in a few weeks.

The Ipswich branch of Chiquito, in Ravenswood, had previously been put on the market by TRG.

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